Research Spotlights

Postcards from the Field

Dear Agu Hello From The Blair Wallis Fractured

Dear AGU -

Hello from the Blair Wallis Fractured Rock Research Well Field in the beautiful Laramie Range in southeastern Wyoming. Since 2015, we have been drilling, instrumenting, and testing bedrock wells completed in fractured granite at Blair Wallis, which lies in a headwater mountain watershed with a hydrology dominated by snowmelt. The picture depicts students (Sam Gragg, Shuangpo Ren), myself, and head of the driller’s crew (Jason Watson) checking water level in well BW-7 before starting a 44-hour constant-rate pumping test. In the background are outcrops of the same bedrock granite. As can be seen from the outcrops, and verified by our hydraulic testing of the wells, the bedrock is extensively fractured in the subsurface, providing permeable pathways for snowmelt recharge and groundwater flow. We hope that our research at Blair Wallis will shed light on bedrock flow processes in this mountain range as well as how downstream aquifers are replenished by mountain outflows.

Ye Zhang

University of Wyoming

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