South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and the West Dakota Water Development District

Aquifer Maps

The Black Hills Aquifer Mapping project is producing a series of maps showing the accessibility, susceptibility, and vulnerability of ground water sources (aquifers) in and near Rapid City, South Dakota.  The maps are based on detailed geologic and structural mapping of 1:24,000 quadrangles, inventories of wells and septic systems, and geographic information system (GIS) analysis.   The maps are being distributed in PDF format, allowing them to be viewed in a standard Adobe Reader program. Users can also zoom in/out and turn individual layers on and off. 

Learn more about the maps

Download Maps

Aquifer Map

Water Quality Studies

The Water Quality project is testing water wells to aquire baseline information about water quality in the metamorphic and igneous rocks (crystalline aquifers, brown in the figure) in the central Black Hills. Participation is voluntary, and homeowners receive a copy of the test results.  Results from the first year of sampling (2013) targeting the Mount Rushmore and Hill City 1:24,000 quadrangles is complete; additional work is in progress.


View results for the Water Quality Studies

Glossary of ground-water terms

Information about on-site waste water systems

Publications related to this project

This project is being funded by the West Dakota Water Development District.  We would also like to thank the South Dakota Geological Survey and the South Dakota Department of Transportation for sharing GIS data for the project.