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.