Groundwater Availability

Breathitt Group (Pbu, Pbm, Pbl) (Princess Formation, Four Corners Formation, Hyden
Formation, Pikeville Formation)

The topography of the Breathitt 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 by sandstone.

The Breathitt yields more than 500 gal/day to three-quarters of the wells drilled in valley bottoms. In the western part of the county, the Breathitt yields more than 500 gal/day to almost half the wells on hillsides and smaller quantities of water to wells on hilltops. In the eastern part of the county, the Breathitt yields more than 500 gal/day to about three-quarters of the wells on hillsides, and more than 100 gal/day to nearly all wells on ridges. 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 plains yield most of the water to wells. Waters are highly variable in chemical character.

The U.S. Geological Survey's Hydrologic Atlas Series, published cooperatively with the Kentucky Geological Survey, provides hydrologic information for the entire state.

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