Groundwater mapping is the systematic examination of an area for groundwater information. This report is comprised mainly from information obtained from naturally occurring surficial phenomena. Mapping by this method can be used if surficial phenomena resulting from groundwater can be distinguished from phenomena related to surface water. It is judged to be most valuable for groundwater exploration projects in areas with little or no existing hydrogeological information available and useful in other aspects of science engaged in studies on or near the surface of the lithosphere under most conditions.
The discrete discharge of groundwater in the general discharge area results from small inhomogeneities in the groundwater flow medium from either variations in the permeability, or the configuration of the water table. The scale of mapping should be one, which focuses on the flow systems that contain the greatest percentage of circulating groundwater.
Twelve environments of groundwater flow (settings) were outlined from topographic maps over the area of 820 square kilometres (340 square miles). Springs, seepages, quick-ground, damp soils hummocky ground, salt precipitates, less-fertile soil, vegetation, closed depressions, gullies, stream meanders, groundwater quality and groundwater temperatures were mapped to determine or aid in the determination of relative water conditions on or near the land surface.
Hydraulic cross sections show that major flow systems originate on highlands and terminate mainly on adjacent lowlands. Comparison of discharge-recharge areas from field mapping with discharge-recharge areas from an electric analog indicates natural movement of groundwater in the Red Deer area to an elevation of minus 150 meters (-500 feet) occurs as if the flow medium is homogeneous.
Distribution of the chemical quality of groundwater is systematic on the highlands. From the distribution of the three main water quality types of groundwater in the highlands, the best quality 500 µmho/cm generally is associated with the west ridge and the poorest general quality 1,000 µmho/cm is associated with the east and southeast ridges. Possibilities for groundwater are most favourable in association with the west ridge and are least favourable in extensive low-sloping areas.
Individual supplies (few 10's of litres/min) are available over the whole area; large supplies (few 1,000's of litres/min.) may possibly be obtainable in certain selected areas.
Clissold, R. (1968): The groundwater regime near Red Deer (determined from mapping naturally occurring surficial phenomena); Research Council of Alberta, RCA/AGS OFR 1968-05, 139 p.