Alluvial Aquifers

The state’s alluvial aquifers interact closely with associated surface water flows. In high mountain catchments, groundwater contributes to streamflow when it is discharged from springs and seeps along “gaining” stream reaches. Further downstream, the flow of water may be reversed and the stream may recharge an associated alluvial aquifer in a “losing” reach. In many cases, gaining and losing reaches alternate along the same streambed depending on the relative elevations of groundwater and streamflow and local geologic conditions.

Bedrock Aquifers

Bedrock aquifers receive recharge at their outcrops on the basin margins from direct precipitation and infiltrating streamflows. The state’s shallow bedrock aquifers produce freshwater close to their recharge areas. Frequently, the same aquifer produces oil and gas from petroleum reservoirs deeper in the basins where the groundwater is more saline and unsuitable for drinking and agriculture. Wells that draw from the shallow margin bedrock aquifers can be artesian, flowing artesian, or water table wells.

Map of Wyoming’s major, minor and marginal aquifers and aquitards
Map of Wyoming’s major, minor and marginal aquifers and aquitards


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