This map is a product of the Black Hills Hydrology Study, which was initiated in 1990 to assess the quantity, quality, and distribution of surface water and ground water in the Black Hills area of South Dakota (Driscoll, 1992). This long-term study is a cooperative effort between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the West Dakota Water Development District, which represents various local and county cooperators. This map is part of a series of 1:100,000-scale maps for the study. The maps include a hydrogeologic map, structure-contour maps (altitudes of the tops of formations) for five formations that contain major aquifers in the study area, and potentiometric maps for these five major aquifers (the Inyan Kara, Minnekahta, Minnelusa, Madison, and Deadwood aquifers).
The study area consists of the topographically defined Black Hills and adjacent areas located in western South Dakota. The Black Hills area is an elongated, dome-shaped feature, about 125 miles long and 60 miles wide, which was uplifted during the Laramide orogeny (Feldman and Heimlich, 1980). The oldest geologic units in the study area are Precambrian metamorphic and igneous rocks, which are exposed in the central core of the Black Hills. Surrounding the Precambrian core is a layered series of sedimentary rocks including limestones, sandstones, and shales that are exposed in roughly concentric rings around the uplifted flanks of the Black Hills. The bedrock sedimentary units typically dip away from the uplifted Black Hills at angles that approach or exceed 10 degrees near the outcrops, and decrease with distance from the uplift. Many of the sedimentary units contain aquifers, both within and beyond the study area. Recharge to these aquifers occurs from infiltration of precipitation upon the outcrops and, in some cases, from infiltration of streamflow (Hortness and Driscoll, 1998). Artesian conditions generally exist within these aquifers where an upper confining layer is present. Flowing wells and artesian springs that originate from confined aquifers are common around the periphery of the Black Hills.
The purpose of this map is to show the altitude of the top (structure contours) of the Minnelusa Formation within the area of the Black Hills Hydrology Study. The depth to the top of the Minnelusa Formation can be estimated at a specific site by subtracting the altitude of the top of the formation from the topographic elevation. However, caution is urged in determining the depth to the top of the formation in areas on the map where the contours are approximately located.
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