Meeting Info

Information About Phoenix Chapter Meetings

Join us for a talk on the hydrogeology of the Queen Creek area with Brian Gootee of the AZGS.

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11/08/2017 05:30 PM
11/08/2017 8:00 PM
Monthly Chapter Meeting
ESRV Study with Brian Gooteem AZGS
Bluewater Grill, 1720 E Camelback Rd
  • Date: November 8
  • Time: 5:30-6:00 PM, happy hour; 6:00-8:00 PM, dinner / meeting
  • Place: Bluewater Grill, 1720 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016 [map]
  • Cost: $25 regular, $20 government, free for students, $25 for student sponsorship*
  • RSVP: Beth Proffitt or REGISTER ONLINE*

* If you are paying online and sponsoring a student, please enter “student” and “sponsor” in the first and last name fields during the checkout process.

Hydrogeologic Investigation in East Salt River Valley, Queen Creek Area

Drilling, provenance analysis, and seismic / aquifer / water-quality testing to explore a data-deficient area

A hydrogeologic investigation of the Higley basin-fill and Queen Creek deposits was conducted in 2016 southeast of Phoenix metropolis between the Superstition and Santan Mountains (Phoenix AMA) in a largely undeveloped area of State Trust lands within the East Salt River Valley (ESRV). This project was spearheaded by SRP with collaboration between several regional / local public and private stakeholders, including Arizona State Land Department, ADWR, Resolution Copper, Arizona Water Company and the Bureau of Reclamation. The Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) was contracted by SRP to provide geologic and hydrogeologic basinwide analysis using new drilling data from exploratory borings combined with new analysis of vintage seismic lines.

Six borings were drilled between 800 and 1,500 feet in depth throughout the study area. One was developed into a test well to conduct aquifer and water quality testing in a previously untested area. Each exploratory boring was logged using standard lithologic logging techniques along with new methods to determine provenance of mineral grains and a variety of geophysical survey tools to characterize structure, lithology, mineralogy, particle-size distribution, and geophysical character at each drilling site. Borehole geophysical data was especially useful in calibrating vintage seismic lines to illuminate structure and geometry of basin-fill and bedrock, most notably in areas only characterized previously by gravity data. All data were used to compile depth-to-unit boundaries and isopach maps for basin-fill alluvial units.

We were able to identify significant discrepancies in depth to bedrock and aquifer thickness from previous estimates, in which depth to bedrock increased between 400 to 1,800 feet throughout most of the 278-square-mile study area. Major faults mapped in the surrounding bedrock extended into the study area and are interpreted to have accompanied basin-fill deposition and accommodated space for thick sequences of basin-fill deposits. Detailed and time-consuming mineralogic analysis from each boring significantly aided in characterizing at least three distinct sedimentary and mineralogical facies in the study area and significantly improved our understanding of the origin and evolution of basin fill and Queen Creek deposits. In addition, samples were collected for further geochronologic analysis to constrain the age of the basin-fill units and to potentially correlate or de-correlate these units.

Results from this study greatly improved our understanding of the geology and hydrogeology in the eastern ESRV and more clearly defined areas that need further testing.

Brian Gootee, AZGS

Brian has 25 years of experience in the fields of geology, hydrogeology, and environmental geology in Arizona and the Southwest. He received his M.S. and B.S. in geology from ASU. Brian is a research geologist with AZGS, specializing in basin analysis, geologic hazards, Quaternary geologic and geomorphic mapping, and geoscience outreach. Brian is also the AZGS tribal liaison, providing consultation to Arizona’s 22 native tribes.

Looking Ahead…

If you would like to do a presentation at a future Phoenix Chapter meeting or if you know someone else who could use an audience, please contact Stephen Flora.

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