Azov-Kuban Artesian Basin

AZOV-KUBAN ARTESIAN BASIN (RU: Азово-Кубанский артезианский бассейн) is located mainly in the Krasnodar territory, and also in the west of the Stavropol territory, and in the southern part of the Rostov province. The area is 110,000 square kilometres.

The basin is confined to the buried part of the Ukrainian crystalline shield and the southern part of the Russian platform with the Precambrian basement, the Scythian plate with the Epihercynian folded base and the West Kuban foredeep. It is limited at the south by the meganticlinorium of the Greater Caucasus, at the east by the Stavropol uplift, at the north and the south-east by the dipping of the Greater Donbass, at the west by the the water area of the Sea of Azov.

There are 18 aquifers identified in the basin. The major operational aquifers are confined to the middle-Upper Pliocene (Cimmerian, Kuyalnitsky, Krasnodar horizons) and the Pontian sands, sandstones and limestones at the depth of 100-500 metres; the thicknes of the aquifers is, respectively, 550 and 400 metres. The yield of the flowing wells is up to 250 litres per second, the average specific yield is 0.1-2.3 litres per second, the coefficient of the water transmissibility is 1000-8000 square metres per day. The waters are fresh or slightly mineralized (0.5-1.5 grams per litre), the composition is HCO3-, HCO3- with SO42-, HCO3- with Cl-, SO42- with Cl-, and Cl-.

The rest of the Paleo-, Meso-, and Cenozoic sedimentary aquifers with the total thickness of up to 3000 metres are laying at the great depth, are less abundant with water (the specific yields are 0.01-1.2 litres per second) and more mineralized (from 0.5 to 5-3 grams per litre or more). The waters are often thermal (60 degrees Celsius or more). The regional drainage basin of all the aquifers and horizons is the northern slope of the Greater Caucasus mountains, the right bank of the Lower Don river; the discharge areas are the Sea of Azov, the lower flows of the Kuban, Don, Manych rivers. The natural resources of the ground waters are 259.4 * 10^7 cubic metres per year (of which the Neogene aquifers are 1.6 billion; Paleogene ones are 571 million, Mesozoic ones are 343 million, Paleozoic ones are 77 million); the forecasted operational resources are 110 * 10^7 cubic metres per year. The ground waters of the basin are intensively exploited by the numerous drilled wells for the household-drinking and industrial water supply; for the watering during the development of the oil fields, as the industrial waters, as well as in the heating and the balneotherapy; the usage of the natural resources is 20%, the usage of the operational resources is more than 30%.