The Vermilion map area lies in the plains-parkland transition zone of east-central Alberta and covers approximately 5660 square miles (14,660 square km). Average annual precipitation is 16 inches (41 cm) and potential evaporation exceeds precipitation from April to October.
Both bedrock and surficial deposits are possible groundwater sources. The bedrock interval supplying groundwater in the region is a complex interfingering of sandstones and shales in the lower Belly River Formation. There is difficulty in correlating the various sandstones over even small distances but two units, the Ribstone Creek and the Birch Lake members, are fairly widespread and form the major aquifers in the region with yields of 25-100 igpm (100-450 l/min). Sediments in preglacial and meltwater channels are a secondary source of groundwater and yield 5-25 igpm (25-100 l/min) or more depending on aquifer lithology.
Groundwater quality is generally good with total dissolved solids within the limits of human consumption although in regions of discharge total dissolved solids and sulfate values can be very high.
In addition to the groundwater availability map at 1:250,000 scale, the related maps at 1:1,000,000 and the hydrogeological sections, three detailed geological sections of the northeast portion of the map area are included.
Currie, D.V. and Zacharko, N. (1976): Hydrogeology of the Vermillion area, Alberta; Alberta Research Council, ARC/AGS Earth Sciences Report 1975-05, 19 p.