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Geologic framework and hydrostratigraphy of the Edwards and Trinity aquifers within northern Medina County, Texas

September 24, 2020

The karstic Edwards and Trinity aquifers are classified as major sources of water in south-central Texas by the Texas Water Development Board. During 2018–20 the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Edwards Aquifer Authority, mapped and described the geologic framework and hydrostratigraphy of the rocks composing the Edwards and Trinity aquifers in northern Medina County from field observations of the surficial expressions of the rocks. The thicknesses of the mapped lithostratigraphic members and hydrostratigraphic units were also estimated from field observations.

The Cretaceous-age rocks (listed in ascending order) in the study area are part of the Trinity Group (lower and upper members of the Glen Rose Limestone), Edwards Group (Kainer Formation [and its stratigraphic equivalent, the Fort Terrett Formation] and Person Formation), Devils River Limestone, Washita Group (Georgetown Formation, Del Rio Clay, and Buda Limestone), Eagle Ford Group, Austin Group, Taylor Group, and Late Cretaceous igneous intrusive rocks. The groups and formations are composed primarily of relatively thick layers of clays, shales, and limestone. The igneous rocks are coarse-grained ultramafic in composition.

The principal structural feature in northern Medina County is the Balcones fault zone, which is the result of late Oligocene and early Miocene extensional faulting and fracturing resulting from the eastern Edwards Plateau uplift. In the Balcones fault zone, most of the faults in the study area are high-angle to vertical, en echelon, normal faults that are predominately downthrown to the southeast.

Hydrostratigraphically, the rocks exposed in the study area (listed in descending order from land surface as they appear in a stratigraphic column) are igneous, the upper confining unit to the Edwards aquifer, the Edwards aquifer, the upper zone of the Trinity aquifer, and the upper part of the middle zone of the Trinity aquifer. The karstic carbonate Edwards and Trinity aquifers developed as a result of their original depositional history, primary and secondary porosity, diagenesis, fracturing, and faulting. These factors have resulted in development of modified porosity, permeability, and transmissivity within and between the aquifers.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2020
Title Geologic framework and hydrostratigraphy of the Edwards and Trinity aquifers within northern Medina County, Texas
DOI 10.3133/sim3461
Authors Allan K. Clark, Robert E. Morris, Diana E. Pedraza
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Map
Series Number 3461
Index ID sim3461
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Texas Water Science Center

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