Earth Sciences Report 1977-02

Earth Sciences Report 1977-02

ESR 1977-02

Hydrogeology of the Calgary-Golden area, Alberta

Author(s) Ozoray, G.F. Barnes, R.G. Date 1978-01-01

The hydrogeology of the uppermost 1000 ft (about 300 m) of strata in the Calgary-Golden map area is described. The maps and profiles were constructed from existing data and from data collected by field survey, drilling and testing operations. The 20-year safe yields are mostly over 5 igpm (about 0.4 l/sec) and at several places are over 100 igpm (about 8 l/sec). Only at specific locations of concentrated discharge or induced infiltration are yields over 500 igpm (about 38 l/sec). All of the best aquifers the Paleozoic limestones, Paskapoo sandstones and shales, and the Quaternary sands and gravels are very capricious and uneven in yield, depending on the presence or absence of karstic solution channels or fracturing, the silt content, structural and depositional features, topographic position and recharge conditions. Gravelly terrace deposits can be entirely dry or can supply over 500 igpm (about 38 l/sec). In the mountains the groundwater table may be deeper than 1000 ft (about 300 m) so even rock masses of high porosity may be classified as having less than 1 igpm (less than 0.1 l/sec) of yield.

Water quality is good over most of the area. Total dissolved solids are usually less than 1000 ppm. The chemical character of the water is usually calcium-magnesium bicarbonate or sodium bicarbonate. Undesirably high total dissolved solids and sulfate contents exist along the eastern margin and in the southeastern corner of the map area and also at isolated locations farther west.

Some thermal and mineral springs have calcium sulfate (gypsum) type chemistry and some radioactivity. Hydrogen sulfide gas in groundwater is known at several localities in the mountains.

In the sparsely populated parts of the area, including the high mountains, the evaluation of geology and topography were fundamental tools in the estimation of hydrogeological characteristics.

Ozoray, G.F. and Barnes, R.G. (1978): Hydrogeology of the Calgary-Golden area, Alberta; Alberta Research Council, ARC/AGS Earth Sciences Report 1977-02, 40 p.