This report describes the hydrogeology of the uppermost 300 m (1000 ft) of strata in the Steen River-Whitesand River map area. The maps and profiles were constructed from existing data and information collected in a field survey. Evaluations of geology, topography, groundwater and surface water chemistry were fundamental in estimating hydrogeologic characteristics.
The 20-year safe yields for half the area are over 0.4 l/sec (5 igpm) and only for a small area of very thick drift with buried gravel beds are they more than 8 l/sec (100 igpm). The only practical aquifers are those within the drift. The drift in the westernmost quarter of the area is thick and contains several sand and gravel aquifers. Potential aquifers in bedrock are the Dunvegan sandstone with a yield of 0.4 to 2 l/sec (5 to 25 igpm), and perhaps the near surface part of the Devonian limestones in their subcrop area in the north-central part of the map area.
The quality of shallow groundwater in drift aquifers is good over most of the area. The total dissolved solids content is usually less than 500 mg/l and the water is a calcium bicarbonate type. In small areas, especially along the slopes and deep valleys of the Caribou Mountains, a calcium sulfate type of groundwater is found with a total dissolved solids content of up to several thousand ppm. The quality of water in bedrock aquifers is very undesirable. Calcium or sodium sulfate water is present at moderate depths (from 60 to 180 m, 200 to 600 ft) and sodium chloride at greater depths (from 120 to 425 m, 400 to 1400 ft). The total dissolved solids content is high, several thousand or several tens of thousand and occasionally near 300 000 mg/l.
Ozoray, G.F. (1980): Hydrogeology of the Steen River-Whitesand River area, Alberta; Alberta Research Council, ARC/AGS Earth Sciences Report 1980-02, 17 p.