Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version



Divine, D., Joeckel, R.M., Olafsen Lackey, Susan. 2017. Aquifers of Nebraska II: The Niobrara Aquifer. Lincoln: Conservation and Survey Division, University of Nebraska. pp. 32




The marine shale, chalk, marl, and chalky limestone of the Niobrara Formation directly underlie Quaternary sediments in 23 counties from south-central to northeastern Nebraska. Nevertheless, the formation serves as an aquifer only in and around Cedar, Madison, and Nuckolls counties. Niobrara aquifer wells mostly supply irrigation, domestic, and livestock needs. Two hundred of the approximately 230 active registered wells in Nebraska that are screened entirely in the Niobrara aquifer are in Cedar County and environs. About another 200 wells in this area are screened in both the Niobrara aquifer and overlying Quaternary sediments. Wells screened entirely in the Niobrara aquifer in Cedar County range in total depth from about 50 to 220 ft (15 to 67 m) in both confined and unconfined hydraulic conditions. One-fifth of these wells yield 500 gpm (1,900 lpm) or more. Groundwater in the aquifer generally flows north-northeast through Cedar County toward the Missouri River.