2016 Winter Lecture Series


What is the Confined Aquifer and How Does it Work

confined aquifer composite


by Eric Harmon P.E.
Hydrologist, HRS Water Consultants


7 PM, Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Room 130 Porter Hall

Adams State University


This talk will focus on the mechanics of the Confined Aquifer of the San Luis Valley. Beneath the near-surface formations (including the unconfined aquifer) and the uppermost confining clay, there is a thick sequence of water-saturated layers of sediments and rock that underlies much of the Valley. Collectively, this series of water-saturated layers is called the Confined Aquifer. Throughout the Valley, the rock and sediment layers that make up the Confined Aquifer vary greatly in thickness and water-yielding characteristics. Although the characteristics of the layers that make up the Confined Aquifer in different areas can be defined by their distinct lithologies and aquifer characteristics, the available geological and geophysical evidence show that the layers are hydraulically connected to each other, to the overlying unconfined aquifer, and to the surface streams. This talk will focus on the nuts and bolts of the Confined Aquifer: What ingredients are needed to form a confined aquifer? How do we define its extent and characteristics? How is ground water moved, stored, and released, in a complex system of interacting layers?

About the Speaker

Eric J. Harmon:  P.E., is a Principal and founding member of HRS Water Consultants, Inc., in Lakewood, Colorado. He holds a B.Sc. in Geophysical Engineering and a Prof. E. in Hydrogeology, both from the Colorado School of Mines. Mr. Harmon has been a consulting engineer in hydrogeology, ground water resources, and water rights in the San Luis Valley and elsewhere in the Rocky Mountain West for over 35 years. He works primarily in hydrogeology, ground water resource management, ground water – surface water interaction, and water rights. Mr. Harmon provided expert testimony in several important water cases in the Valley, including the AWDI case, the Confined Aquifer Rules case, and the Great Sand Dunes In-Situ Water Right case.

The Colorado Field Institute is a nonprofit corporation organized in 2005 to promote greater stewardship of the natural and cultural resources within the San Luis Valley. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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