Earth Sciences Report 1979-04

Earth Sciences Report 1979-04

ESR 1979-04

Hydrogeology of the Kananaskis Lake Area, Alberta

Author(s) Borneuf, D.M. Date 1980-01-01

The Kananaskis map area, in southwestern Alberta, falls within the Rocky Mountains, the Foothills, the Porcupine Hills and the Plains physiographic regions. The map area covers about 8500 km3 (3300 sq mi). Mean annual total precipitation varies from 460 mm (18 in) in the Calgary area to over 1000 mm (40 in) in the Mountain areas. The quality of the groundwater is generally excellent. Total dissolved solids content of groundwaters varies from less than 50 mg/L to slightly over 1500 mg/L. but most groundwaters have a total dissolved solids content below 500 mg/L. Sodium bicarbonate and calcium-magnesium bicarbonate are the main chemical types and sulfate, chloride, and nitrate generally occur as minor anions. Total dissolved content increases towards the east.

Yields have a wide range (from 1 igpm to over 500 igpm) in this area and the Plains and Foothills regions show an especially great variation of yield. The wide range of results from the differing lithologies of both the drift and the bedrock, and also from the presence of fracture systems, which are more developed in the Mountains and in the Foothills portions of the map area.

The Mountains appear to have a much different hydrogeological character than the other regions of the map area due to the presence of small, short flow systems. Because of the lack of data, the yields in the Mountains are not well known. Flow systems, in general, seem both short and shallow. Karst areas, which may produce extremely large yields, are found in the Mountains.

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Borneuf, D.M. (1980): Hydrogeology of the Kananaskis Lake area, Alberta; Alberta Energy and Utilities Board, ARC/AGS Earth Sciences Report 1979-04, 16 p.