Unconsolidated water-bearing alluvial deposits border the Canadian River in the vicinity of Norman, Oklahoma. These Quaternary materials are divided on the basis of topgraphic position into 'high terrace deposits' and 'alluvium.' The high terrace lies at an elevation of 50 to 60 feet above the alluvium, which in turn lies 7 to 15 feet above the channel of the Canadian River. Southwest of Norman a relatively thick section of these deposits occur as a hydrologic unit and overlie impermeable Permian shale. The high terrace deposits contain thick beds of clay, silt, and fine sand, whereas the alluvium contains a higher percentage of coarse sand and gravel.
Ground-water recharge is estimated to be 23 percent of the normal annual precipitation of 33.22 inches; the specific yield is about 15 percent, and the coefficient of permeability is about 1,000 gpd/ft2. Using these figures 17,000 acre-feet of water is computed to be in storage within the area acting as a hydrologic unit. About 3.6 million gallons of water is discharged daily from the high terrace deposits through a 16,000-foot section of alluvium having a saturated thickness of 40 feet along the river.
The quality of water in the high terrace deposits meets the standards of the U.S. Public Health Service for domestic water used by Interstate carriers but nitrate content of one well is higher than recommended by the Oklahoma Department of Public Health. Water in the alluvium is of poorer quality because the water is concentrated by evapotranspiration.
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