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Hydrology of the Shivwits Plateau Basin

Most of the Shivwits Plateau Basin is high plateau with elevations of 4,000 to 6,000 feet.  The basin contains an alternating sequence of limestones, sandstones and shales with alluvial sands and gravels along larger washes and canyons.  Figure 6.0-6 shows a cross section of the geology in the Shivwits Plateau, Kanab Plateau and the western portion of the Coconino Plateau basins.  The cross section begins in the west-central portion of the Shivwits Plateau Basin (T33N, R12W) and follows a southeastern diagonal across the Shivwits Plateau and Kanab Plateau basins, ending just across the Colorado River in the Aubrey Cliffs in the Coconino Plateau Basin (T32N, R7W).  The cross section provides the general location of the water bearing units beneath the region and their depth and thickness in particular areas. The diagram also shows the impact of the Hurricane Fault on the cross section occurrence of the geologic units.

Figure 6.0-6 Geologic cross section of the Shivwits Plateau, Kanab Plateau and Coconino Plateau Basins

(modified from Billingsley and Welmeyer, 2003)

Figure 6.0-6

Stream alluvium is the major aquifer in the basin but well yields are relatively low. A number of dry wells have reportedly been drilled into the sedimentary rocks but some encountered water in faults and fractures.  Groundwater recharge occurs from infiltration of rainfall and snowmelt.  Data on groundwater flow direction, annual natural recharge rate and groundwater in storage is not available for the basin.

There are only 18 registered wells in the basin.  Department data indicate well yields ranging from 0 to 45 gpm with a median well yield of 5 gpm for 17 large diameter (>10gpm) wells. Recent water levels in wells range from 10 feet bls to over 960 feet bls (see Figure 6.5-6).  Water from springs and seeps is generally of better quality than well water, although the arsenic level at one spring exceeded the drinking water standard (Table 6.5-4).

For information on surface water hydrology in the Shivwits Plateau Basin see Lower Colorado River Lees Ferry to Lake Mead Watershed

Click to view Figure 6.5-6

Click to view Figure 6.5-6 Shivwits Plateau Basin Groundwater Conditions

 

 

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