By Donna Runkle and Alan Rea with source data sets and supplemental information provided by Mark F. Becker

U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 96-453

Prepared in cooperation with the
State of Oklahoma, Office of the Secretary of Environment

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


File Formats
Data Organization
Geometric Registration
References Cited


The data sets in this report include digitized aquifer boundaries and maps of hydraulic conductivity, recharge, and ground-water level elevation contours for the Rush Spring aquifer in western Oklahoma. This area encompasses all or part of Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Comanche, Custer, Dewey, Grady, Stephens, and Washita Counties. These digital data sets were developed by Mark F. Becker to use as input into a computer model that simulated ground-water flow in the Rush Springs aquifer (Mark F. Becker, U.S. Geological Survey, written commun., 1997).

For the purposes of modeling the ground-water flow in the Rush Springs aquifer, Mark F. Becker (written commun., 1997) defined the Rush Springs aquifer to include the Rush Springs Formation, alluvial and terrace deposits along major streams, and parts of the Marlow Formations, particularly in the eastern part of the aquifer boundary area. The Permian-age Rush Springs Formation consists of highly cross-bedded sandstone with some interbedded dolomite and gypsum. The Rush Springs Formation is overlain by Quaternary-age alluvial and terrace deposits that consist of unconsolidated clay, silt, sand, and gravel. The Rush Springs Formation is underlain by the Permian-age Marlow Formation that consists of interbedded sandstones, siltstones, mudstones, gypsum-anhydrite, and dolomite beds (Mark F. Becker, written commun., 1997). The parts of the Marlow Formation that have high permeability and porosity are where the Marlow Formation is included as part of the Rush Springs aquifer.

The Rush Springs aquifer is overlain by the Permian-age Cloud Chief Formation in some parts of the western and northern sections of the aquifer. Where greater than 50 feet thick the Cloud Chief Formation is a confining unit that consists of massive gypsum units interbedded with reddish-brown shales and siltstones (Mark F. Becker, written commun., 1997).

The Rush Springs aquifer underlies about 2,400 square miles of western Oklahoma and is an important source of water for irrigation, livestock, industrial, municipal, and domestic use. Irrigation wells are reported to have well yields greater than 1,000 gallons per minute (Mark F. Becker, written commun., 1997).

Mark F. Becker created some of the aquifer boundaries, hydraulic conductivity, and recharge data sets by digitizing parts of the surficial geology maps published at a scale of 1:250,000 in Carr and Bergman (1976), Hart (1974), Havens (1977), and Morton (1980). The hydraulic conductivity and recharge values are the input data to the ground-water flow model (Mark F. Becker, written commun., 1997). The water-level elevation data set was prepared at a scale of 1:250,000 by Mark F. Becker (written commun., 1997) from water levels measured in wells prior to the year 1950.

Ground-water flow models are numerical representations that simplify and aggregate natural systems. Models are not unique; different combinations of aquifer characteristics may produce similar results. The hydraulic conductivity and recharge are closely interrelated. As long as these two model inputs are in balance the model has a small mean residual; it represents the natural system numerically. If the hydraulic conductivity is accurately known, the model can be used to accurately determine recharge. Likewise, if the hydraulic conductivity is poorly known, then the recharge will be poorly determined. Therefore, values of hydraulic conductivity and recharge used in the model and presented in this data set are not precise, but are within a reasonable range when compared to independently collected data.

In most aquifers, hydraulic conductivity measurements made in wells or in cores will range over several orders of magnitude, even over short horizontal and vertical distances. Hydraulic conductivity values derived from ground-water flow models represent areal generalizations and do not reflect the large local variance in well or core measurements. Recharge probably varies considerably over the local area, and model recharge is at best an average over an area at least as large as the model grid (and probably much larger than a single cell).

Compilation of the data sets was funded under a cooperative Joint Funding Agreement between the U.S. Geological Survey and the State of Oklahoma, Office of the Secretary of Environment.


These data sets were created for a project to develop data sets to support ground-water vulnerability analysis. The objective was to create and document digital geospatial data sets from published reports or maps, or existing digital geospatial data sets that could be used in ground-water vulnerability analysis.


The data sets provided in this report are available in nonproprietary and ARC/INFO export file formats. (See NOTES section.) Files, except those with ".GIF" or ".GZ" extensions, are ASCII format files.

The data sets stored in the generic, public-domain Digital Line Graph (DLG-3) Version 3, Optional format have file extensions of ".DLG". Designed for data interchange, the DLG-3 format allows the simple creation of a vector polygon or line data structure. The topological linkages are explicitly encoded for node, area, and line elements. The files are composed of 8-bit ASCII characters organized into fixed logical records of 80 bytes. A detailed description of the DLG-3 Optional format may be found in the data users guide 3, Digital Line Graphs from 1:2,000,000-scale maps (U.S. Geological Survey, 1990).

The ARC/INFO export files are ASCII files that utilize a proprietary format. The "NONE" compression option was used with the ARC/INFO EXPORT command. The ARC/INFO export files have file extensions of ".E00".

The data set files have ".GZ" extensions and were compressed for distribution. These files need to be uncompressed to access the digital data. The GUNZIP utility is an MS-DOS executable program that will uncompress the data files. To uncompress a file, type at the MS-DOS prompt:


This command will uncompress the file and restore its original name. For example: "AQBOUND.DLG" or "AQBOUND.E00" .

A documentation file (known as metadata) is provided for each data set. The documentation files comply with the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata (Federal Geographic Data Committee, 1994). The FGDC-compliant metadata files contain detailed descriptions of the data sets, and include narrative sections that describe the procedures used to produce the data sets in digital form.

A graphic image also is provided in a Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) file. GIF files are easily displayed on a variety of computer systems that use readily available display software including Internet browser software. This image provides a simplified view of the data sets, and may be used for browsing purposes. The GIF file portrays significantly less spatial resolution and information content than the actual data sets.

No software is provided with these data sets. Users will need GIS software to use the data sets. The U.S. Geological Survey does not recommend or endorse any particular software package for use with these data sets. For some links to more information on GIS software and capabilities, see:  The GIS FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), GIS Companies on the WWW, USGS GIS Information.


Liability disclaimer
Browse image of the data sets in Graphics Interchange Format (GIF)
Complete documentation of the data sources and procedures used to create the aquifer boundary data set and links for retrieval of the data set.
Complete documentation of the data sources and procedures used to create the hydraulic conductivity data set and links for retrieval of the data set.
Complete documentation of the data sources and procedures used to create the recharge data set and links for retrieval of the data set.
Complete documentation of the data sources and procedures used to create the ground-water level elevation contour data set and links for retrieval of the data set.


The Albers Equal Area map projection (Snyder, 1987) was chosen for the data sets. This projection is appropriate for maps of the conterminous United States because of the visual presentation and equal-area characteristics, which facilitates areal analysis. The projection is cast on the North American Datum of 1983. This projection slightly distorts shapes and distances (scale) in order to maintain equal-area properties. Scale is true along the standard parallels, which are to the north and south of Oklahoma. Scale distortion in Oklahoma reaches a maximum of slightly less than one percent at the northern border of the state. The following table provides map projection information.

Albers Equal Area projection parameters
[GRS1980, Geodetic Reference System 1980: NAD83, North American Datum 1983]

Projection parameters:
First standard parallel29 30 00 North
Second standard parallel45 30 00 North
Central meridian96 00 00 West
Latitude of projection origin23 00 00 North
Coordinate system parameters:
False easting0
False northing0
Planimetric units of measure meters


Use of trade names is for descriptive purposes only, and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

ARC/INFO software was used in the development of the data sets. The data sets were processed using the ARC/INFO Revision 7.0.3 software package, running on a Data General AViiON workstation. Further processing was done using ARC/INFO Revisions 7.0.4 and 7.1.1 on a SUN Enterpise 4000 running Solaris Version 2.5.1. File names in this document are enclosed in quotation marks and type set in upper case.


Carr, J.E., and Bergman, D.L., 1976, Reconnaissance of the water resources of the Clinton quadrangle, west-central Oklahoma: Oklahoma Geological Survey Hydrologic Atlas 5, scale 1:250,000, 4 sheets.

Federal Geographic Data Committee, 1994, Content standards for digital geospatial metadata (June 8): Federal Geographic Data Committee, Washington, D.C., 78 p.


Hart, D.L., Jr., 1974, Reconnaissance of the water resources of the Ardmore and Sherman quadrangles, southern Oklahoma: Oklahoma Geological Survey Hydrologic Atlas 3, scale 1:250,000, 4 sheets.

Havens, J.S., 1977, Reconnaissance of the water resources of the Lawton quadrangle, southwestern Oklahoma: Oklahoma Geological Survey Hydrologic Atlas 6, scale 1:250,000, 4 sheets.

Morton, R.B., 1980, Reconnaissance of the water resources of the Woodward quadrangle, northwestern Oklahoma: Oklahoma Geological Survey Hydrologic Atlas 8, scale 1:250,000, 4 sheets.

Snyder, J.P., 1987, Map projections--A working manual: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1395, 383 p.

U.S. Geological Survey, 1990, Digital line graphs from 1:2,000,000-scale maps, data users guide 3: U.S. Geological Survey National Mapping Program Technical Instruction, 70 p.


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