Hydrogeologic Framework and Geochemistry of Gaines, Terry, and Yoakum Counties

Science Center Objects

In 2014, USGS, in cooperation with Llano Estacado Underground Water Conservation District, Sandy Land Underground Water District, and South Plains Underground Water Conservation District, began a multiphase project to develop a regional conceptual model of the hydrogeologic framework and geochemistry of the Ogallala, Edwards-Trinity, and Dockum aquifers. The Ogallala aquifer is the shallowest aquifer in the study area and is the primary source of water for agriculture and municipal supply in the area.

Currently there are limited data on the base of the Ogallala and Edwards-Trinity (High Plains) aquifers in the area and additional data need to be collected to refine a conceptual model. Also, declines in the saturated thickness of the aquifers raises concerns for degradation of the groundwater, requiring the need for groundwater quality sampling to determine groundwater sources, recharge, discharge, and mixing zones.

The USGS Texas Water Science Center is developing an updated regional conceptual model of the hydrogeologic framework, geochemistry, and groundwater-flow system of the Ogallala and Edwards-Trinity (High Plains) aquifers within Gaines and Yoakum Counties, Texas to manage the availability and quality of groundwater within the Ogallala and Edwards-Trinity (High Plains) aquifers. The project has two phases:

Phase 1

  • database development,
  • data compilation,
  • geophysical data collection, and
  • hydrogeologic framework development and refinement. 

Phase 2

  • groundwater geochemical sampling,
  • additional data collection to fill in gaps identified in Phase 1, 
  • synoptic water-level measurements and hydraulic properties testing, and
  • final development of a conceptual model of the hydrogeologic framework, geochemistry, and groundwater-flow systems of the Ogallala and Edwards-Trinity (High Plains) aquifers.