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Scientific Investigations Map 3263

Prepared in cooperation with the Harris-Galveston Subsidence District, City of Houston, Fort Bend Subsidence District, Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District, and Brazoria County Groundwater Conservation District

Water-Level Altitudes 2013 and Water-Level Changes in the Chicot, Evangeline, and Jasper Aquifers and Compaction 1973–2012 in the Chicot and Evangeline Aquifers, Houston-Galveston Region, Texas

By Mark C. Kasmarek, Michaela R. Johnson, and Jason K. Ramage

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (3.58 MB)Abstract

Most of the subsidence in the Houston-Galveston region, Texas, has occurred as a direct result of groundwater withdrawals for municipal supply, commercial and industrial use, and irrigation that depressured and dewatered the Chicot and Evangeline aquifers, thereby causing compaction mostly in the clay and silt layers of the aquifer sediments. This report, prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Harris-Galveston Subsidence District, City of Houston, Fort Bend Subsidence District, Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District, and Brazoria County Groundwater Conservation District, is one in an annual series of reports depicting water-level altitudes and water-level changes in the Chicot, Evangeline, and Jasper aquifers and measured compaction of subsurface sediments in the Chicot and Evangeline aquifers in the Houston-Galveston region. The report contains maps depicting approximate water-level altitudes for 2013 (represented by measurements made during December 2012–February 2013) for the Chicot, Evangeline, and Jasper aquifers; maps depicting 1-year (2012–13) water-level changes for each aquifer; maps depicting 5-year (2008–13) water-level changes for each aquifer; maps depicting long-term (1990–2013 and 1977–2013) water-level changes for the Chicot and Evangeline aquifers; a map depicting long-term (2000–13) water-level changes for the Jasper aquifer; a map depicting locations of borehole-extensometer sites; and graphs depicting measured compaction of subsurface sediments at the extensometers during 1973–2012. Tables listing the data used to construct each water-level map for each aquifer and the compaction graphs are included.

In 2013, water-level-altitude contours for the Chicot aquifer ranged from 200 feet (ft) below North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (hereinafter, datum) in a small area in southwestern Harris County to 200 ft above datum in central to west-central Montgomery County. Water-level changes during 2012–13 in the Chicot aquifer ranged from a 58-ft decline to a 37-ft rise. Contoured 5-year and long-term changes in water levels in the Chicot aquifer ranged from a 30-ft decline to an 80-ft rise (2008–13), from a 120-ft decline to a 100-ft rise (1990–2013), and from an 80-ft decline to a 200-ft rise (1977–2013). In 2013, water-level-altitude contours for the Evangeline aquifer ranged from 300 ft below datum in south-central Montgomery County to 200 ft above datum in southeastern Grimes and northwestern Montgomery Counties. Water-level changes for 2012–13 in the Evangeline aquifer ranged from a 37-ft decline to a 68-ft rise. Contoured 5-year and long-term changes in water levels in the Evangeline aquifer ranged from an 80-ft decline to an 80-ft rise (2008–13), from a 220-ft decline to a 220-ft rise (1990–2013), and from a 360-ft decline to a 260-ft rise (1977–2013). In 2013, water-level-altitude contours for the Jasper aquifer ranged from 200 ft below datum in south-central Montgomery and north-central Harris Counties to 250 ft above datum in northwestern Montgomery County and extending into northeastern Grimes and south-central Walker Counties. Water-level changes for 2012–13 in the Jasper aquifer ranged from a 36-ft decline to an 87-ft rise. Contoured changes in water levels in the Jasper aquifer ranged from a 100-ft decline to 20-ft rise (2008–13) and from a 220-ft decline to no change (2000–13).

Compaction of subsurface sediments (mostly in the clay and silt layers) of the Chicot and Evangeline aquifers was recorded continuously by 13 borehole extensometers at 11 sites that were either activated or installed between 1973 and 1980. For the period of record beginning in 1973 (or later depending on activation or installation date) and ending in December 2012, cumulative measured compaction by 12 of the 13 extensometers ranged from 0.100 ft at the Texas City-Moses Lake extensometer to 3.632 ft at the Addicks extensometer (data were used from only one of two extensometers at one site). The rate of compaction varies from site to site because of differences in groundwater withdrawals near each site and differences among sites in the clay-to-sand ratio in the subsurface sediments. Therefore, it is not possible to extrapolate or infer a rate of compaction for adjacent areas based on the rate of compaction measured at a nearby extensometer.

First posted June 25, 2013

For additional information contact:
Director, Texas Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
1505 Ferguson Lane
Austin, Texas 78754
http://tx.usgs.gov/

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Suggested citation:

Kasmarek, M.C., Johnson, M.R., and Ramage, J.K., 2013, Water-level altitudes 2013 and water-level changes in the Chicot, Evangeline, and Jasper aquifers and compaction 1973–2012 in the Chicot and Evangeline aquifers, Houston-Galveston region, Texas: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3263, 19 p., 16 sheets, https://pubs.usgs.gov/sim/3263/.



Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Data Collection and Analysis Methods

Water-Level Altitudes and Changes

Compaction of Subsurface Sediments in the Chicot and Evangeline Aquifers

Data Limitations

Summary

References Cited

Appendix 1. Well Location Maps


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