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Scientific Investigations Report 2014–5013

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

Potentiometric Surface of the Ozark Aquifer in Northern Arkansas, 2010

By John B. Czarnecki, Aaron L. Pugh, and Joshua M. Blackstock

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (1.57 MB)Abstract

The Ozark aquifer in northern Arkansas is composed of dolomite, limestone, sandstone, and shale of Late Cambrian to Middle Devonian age and ranges in thickness from approximately 1,100 feet to more than 4,000 feet. Hydrologically, the aquifer is complex, characterized by discrete and discontinuous flow components with large variations in permeability.

The potentiometric-surface map, based on 56 well and 5 spring water-level measurements made in 2010 in Arkansas and Missouri, has a maximum water-level altitude measurement of 1,174 feet in Carroll County and a minimum water-level altitude measurement of 120 feet in Randolph County. Regionally, the flow within the aquifer is to the south and southeast in the eastern and central part of the study area and to the west, northwest, and north in the western part of the study area. Water-level altitudes changed 0.5 feet or less in 31 out of 56 wells measured between 2007 and 2010.

Despite rapidly increasing population within the study area, the increase appears to have minimal effect on groundwater levels, although the effect may have been minimized by the development and use of surface-water distribution infrastructure, suggesting that most of the incoming populations are fulfilling their water needs from surface-water sources. The conversion of some users from groundwater to surface water may be allowing water levels in some wells to recover (rise) or decline at a slower rate in some areas such as in Benton, Carroll, and Washington Counties.

First posted February 21, 2014

For additional information contact:
Director, Arkansas Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
401 Hardin Road
Little Rock, AR 72211

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Suggested citation:

Czarnecki, J.B., Pugh, A.L., and Blackstock, J.M., 2014, Potentiometric surface of the Ozark aquifer in northern Arkansas, 2010: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2014–5013, 16 p., 1 pl.,

ISSN 2328-0328 (online)





Aquifer Description

Potentiometric Surface

Population and Water Use

Long-Term Water-Level Trends


References Cited

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Page Last Modified: Friday, February 21, 2014, 11:36:36 AM