Drought and deluge: Effects of recent climate variability on groundwater levels in eastern Arkansas

Fact Sheet 2012-3135
By:  and 



Arkansas experienced wide extremes in climate variability during the period of 2005 to 2010, recording the largest annual precipitation ever recorded in the State (100.05 inches) in 2009. Many weather stations across the State reported between 80 to 90 inches of rainfall in 2009. For comparison, the average annual precipitation in Little Rock, Arkansas, for the period 1878 to 2010 was 47.1 inches. In contrast, 2005 and 2010 were the 7th and 14th driest years on record in Little Rock with 34.55 and 36.52 inches, respectively; both tied as the hottest years ever recorded in Arkansas. The wettest year on record in Little Rock (2009) was interspersed within these dry years, with a total of 81.79 inches. Fifteen weather stations within the State ranked 2009 as the wettest year on record. Extremes in annual precipitation rates may lead to greater variability in groundwater recharge rates and water use, particularly in the agricultural areas in eastern Arkansas that rely heavily on groundwater produced from the Mississippi River Valley alluvial aquifer (hereafter referred to as the alluvial aquifer). How does this variability affect the groundwater system and water use therein? Are the effects of this variability discernable in measured water levels in wells? Czarnecki and Schrader examined these questions and provided some insights, the results of which are presented here.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Drought and deluge: Effects of recent climate variability on groundwater levels in eastern Arkansas
Series title Fact Sheet
Series number 2012-3135
DOI 10.3133/fs20123135
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Arkansas Water Science Center
Description 6 p.
Country United States
State Arkansas
Scale 100000
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details