List of Carbonate-Rock Aquifers

Science Center Objects

Carbonate-rock aquifers are most extensive in the eastern United States. Most of the carbonate-rock aquifers consist of limestone, and their water-yielding properties vary widely.

To learn more, visit the Carbonate-Rock Aquifers webpage for an overview, or access more extensive information from the Ground Water Atlas of the United States (USGS Hydrologic Atlas 730) by clicking on an individual region/chapter below.

 

Basin and Range carbonate-rock aquifers (southwestern U.S.)

Map showing Basin and Range aquifers

The Basin and Range aquifers consist of primarily unconsolidated basin-fill sand and gravel, but fractured carbonate rocks also underlie some basins and form important aquifers.

 

Roswell Basin aquifer system (New Mexico)

Map showing the Roswell Basin aquifer system

Aquifers in the Roswell Basin yield water from alluvium and carbonate rocks. Carbonate rocks of similar lithology and age extend through an area of about 12,000 square miles in southeastern New Mexico.

 

Blaine aquifer (Oklahoma and Texas)

Map showing the Blaine aquifer

The Blaine aquifer in southwestern Oklahoma and northern Texas consists of fractured and cavernous gypsum and asociated dolomite, and it supplies water for irrigation.

 

Arbuckle-Simpson aquifer (Oklahoma)

Map showing extent of the Arbuckle-Simpson aquifer

The Arbuckle-Simpson aquifer in south-central Oklahoma is in the Central Lowland Physiographic Province, and it consists of limestone, dolomite, and sandstone.

 

Silurian-Devonian aquifers (northern Midwest)

Map showing the Silurian-Devonian aquifers

The Silurian-Devonian aquifer has been referred to by a number of different names. It is known as the carbonate aquifer in Ohio, the Silurian-Devonian aquifers in Indiana, and the upper part of the shalow dolomite aquifer in Illinois. Dolomites and limestones of Silurian and Devonian age constitue one of the principal consolidated-rock aquifers throughout a large area in the uper Midwest.

 

Ozark Plateaus aquifer system (Missouri)

Map showing the Ozark Plateaus aquifer system

The Ozark Plateaus aquifer system consists of three aquifers separated by two confining units, all of which grade laterally westward into equivalent hydrogeologic units.

 

Ordovician aquifers (Tennessee and Kentucky)

Map showing Ordovician aquifers

Carbonate rocks of Devonian, Silurian, and Ordovician age, which are primarily limestone with some dolomite, are the principal aquifers in large areas of central Kentucky and central Tennessee. Most of the caronate-rock aquifers are in Ordovician rocks.

 

Upper carbonate aquifer (Minnesota and Iowa)

Map showing Upper carbonate aquifer

The upper carbonate aquifer is a very productive aquifer only in southeastern Minnesota. Numerous solution-enlarged rock openings have made the rocks extremely porous, especially where glacial deposits are thin or missing. In the Iowa portion of the aquifer, dissolution has been inhibited, so little secondary permeability has developed.

 

Floridan aquifer system

Map showing the Floridan aquifer system

The Floridan aquifer system is one of the most productive aquifers in the world. This aquifer system underlies an area of about 100,000 square miles, and it provides water for several large cities, including Savannah and Brunswick in Georgia and Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Orlando, and St. Petersburg in Florida.

 

Biscayne aquifer (Florida)

Map of the Biscayne aquifer

The Biscayne aquifer underlies parts of four counties in southeastern Florida, and consists predominantly of limestone.

 

New York and New England carbonate-rock aquifers

Map showing the New York and New England carbonate-rock aquifers

Consolidated bedrock aquifers in this area are in consolidated rocks of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic origin. These consolidated rocks yield water primarily from bedding planes, fractures, joints, and faults, rather than from intergranular pores. Carbonate rocks generally yield more water than other types of consolidated rocks because carbonate rocks are subject to dissolution by slightly acidic ground water.

 

Piedmont and Blue Ridge carbonate-rock aquifers (eastern U.S.)

Map showing the Piedmont and Blue Ridge carbonate-rock aquifers

The carbonate rocks of the Piedmont and Blue Ridge provinces have virtually no primary permeability or porosity. Water in these rocks moves through secondary openings such as bedding planes, joints, faults, and other partings within the rock that have been enlarged by dissolution.

 

Castle Hayne-Aquia aquifer (North Carolina)

Map showing the Castle-Hayne aquifer

The Castle Hayne-aquia aquifer yields large volumes of water in North Carolina where it consists of limestone.

 

North Coast Limestone aquifer system (Puerto Rico)

Map showing the North Coast Limestone aquifer system (Puerto RIco)

The North Coast Limestone aquifer system in Puerto Rico is one of the largest and most productive sources of ground water on Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The aquifer system underlies a populous, industrialized area and extends approximately 90 miles along the north coast of Puerto Rico and encompasses an area of nearly 700 square miles.

 

Kingshill aquifer (Virgin Islands)

Map showing the Kingshill aquifer (St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands)

The Kingshill aquifer is located in the central to southwester parts of the island of St. Croix in the Virgin Islands of the United States.