The alluvium forms narrow floodplains and underlies terraces. At least
one well-developed terrace is present along the principal streams of
The alluvium yields more than 100 gallons per day to most dug wells.
Where sandy material is present and saturated thickness great enough,
the alluvium would yield more than 500 gallons per day to screened drilled
wells. Water is soft or moderately hard; it may contain large amounts
of iron at depth.
Breathitt Group (Pbm, Pbl) (Four Corners Formation, Hyden Formation,
The topography is rugged, sandstones form narrow valleys and cliffs
or steep slopes on hillsides, and shales form wide valleys and moderate
or gentle slopes on hills. Tops of hills and ridges commonly are capped
The Breathitt yields more than 500 gallons per day to three-quarters
of the wells drilled in valley bottoms. Throughout this area the Breathitt
yields more than 500 gallons per day to almost half the wells on hillsides
and smaller quantities of water to wells on hilltops. Sandstones yield
water to most wells. Shales also yield water to many wells, and coal
yields water to a few. Near-vertical joints and openings along bedding
planes yield most of the water to wells. Waters are highly variable
in chemical character. The Breathitt may contain salty water at depths
less than 100 feet below
the principal valley bottoms in most areas of the county.
Grundy Formation (contains Lee-type sandstones of the
former Lee Formation) (Plc)
The Grundy contains thick, resistant sandstones. It underlies valleys
in northwestern Owsley County.
Generally, the Grundy yields more the 500 gallons per day to most of
the wells drilled in valley bottoms. It yields more than 500 gallons
per day to about half of the wells on hillsides and more than 500 gallons
to almost three-quarters of the wells on hilltops. Sandstone is the
principal aquifer, but shale yields water to some wells and coal to
a few. The highest-yielding wells obtain water from near vertical joints
and openings along bedding planes. Intergranular pore spaces yield water
slowly to joints and to wells intersecting poorly cemented zones. Waters
are generally soft or
moderately hard and contain noticeable amounts of iron. Salty water
is known to be present at shallow depth in most of Owsley County.
The U.S. Geological Survey's Hydrologic
Atlas Series, published cooperatively with the Kentucky Geological
Survey, provides hydrologic information for the entire state.
to "Groundwater Resources in Kentucky"