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Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5218

Prepared in cooperation with the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission and the Arkansas Geological Survey

Potentiometric Surfaces and Water-Level Trends in the Cockfield and Wilcox Aquifers of Southern and Northeastern Arkansas, 2006

By T.P. Schrader

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Scientific Investigations Report
2007-5218 PDF (1.9 MB)
Abstract

The Cockfield Formation of Claiborne Group and the Wilcox Group contain aquifers that provide sources of ground water in southern and northeastern Arkansas. In 2000, about 9.9 million gallons per day was withdrawn from the Cockfield Formation of Claiborne Group and about 22.2 million gallons per day was withdrawn from the Wilcox Group. Major withdrawals from the aquifers were for industrial and public water supplies.

A study was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission and the Arkansas Geological Survey to determine the water level associated with the aquifers in the Cockfield Formation of Claiborne Group and the Wilcox Group in southern and northeastern Arkansas. During February and March 2006, 56 water-level measurements were made in wells completed in the Cockfield aquifer and 59 water-level measurements were made in wells completed in the Wilcox aquifer, 16 in southwestern and 43 in northeastern Arkansas. This report presents the results as potentiometric-surface maps and as long-term water-level hydrographs.

The regional direction of ground-water flow in the Cockfield Formation of Claiborne Group generally is towards the east and southeast, away from the outcrop, except in areas of intense ground-water withdrawals, such as western Drew County, southeastern Lincoln County, southwestern Calhoun County, and near Crossett in Ashley County. There are three cones of depression indicated by relatively low water-level altitudes in southeastern Lincoln County, southwestern Calhoun County, and near Crossett in Ashley County. The lowest water-level altitude measured was 44 feet above the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 in Lincoln County; the highest water-level altitude measured was 346 feet above the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 in Columbia County at the outcrop area. Hydrographs from 40 wells with historical water levels from 1986 to 2006 were evaluated using linear regression to calculate the annual rise or decline. Calhoun and Cleveland Counties have mean annual rises from 0.01 to 0.07 feet per year. Arkansas, Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, Columbia, Drew, Lincoln, and Union Counties have mean annual declines from 0.4 to 0.55 feet per year. Desha County has a mean annual decline of about 1.35 feet per year.

The direction of ground-water flow in the southwestern study area of the Wilcox Group generally is south and east. The lowest water-level altitude measured in southwestern Arkansas was 147 feet above the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 near the Ouachita River in Clark County; the highest water-level altitude measured was 397 feet above the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 in the outcrop area of Hempstead County. The direction of ground-water flow in the northeastern study area of the Wilcox Group generally is south and east. The lowest water-level altitude measured in northeastern Arkansas was 120 feet above the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 near West Memphis in Crittenden County; the highest water-level altitude measured was 368 feet above the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 on Crowleys Ridge in Clay County. Hydrographs from 28 wells with historical water levels from 1986 to 2006 were evaluated using linear regression to calculate the annual rise or decline. All 28 wells showed an annual decline from 1986 to 2006. Craighead, Greene, Mississippi, and Poinsett Counties have mean annual declines from 0.27 to 1.00 feet per year. Crittenden, Lee, and St. Francis Counties have mean annual declines from 1.39 to 1.64 feet per year.

Version 1.0

Posted January 2008


Suggested citation:

Schrader, T.P., 2007, Potentiometric surfaces and water-level trends in the Cockfield and Wilcox aquifers of southern and northeastern Arkansas, 2006: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007–5218, 27 p.



Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Methods

Cockfield Formation

Hydrogeologic Setting

Potentiometric Surface

Water-Level Trends

Wilcox Group

Hydrogeologic Setting

Potentiometric Surface

Water-Level Trends

Summary

References



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