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Hydrologic characteristics of soils in the High Plains, northern Great Plains, and Central Texas Carbonates Regional Aquifer Systems

Hydrologic Atlas 714

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Abstract

Certain physical characteristics of soils, including permeability, available water capacity, thickness, and topographic position, have a measurable effect on the hydrology of an area. These characteristics control the rate at which precipitation infiltrates or is transmitted through the soil, and thus they have an important role in determining the rates of actual evapotranspiration (consumptive water use), groundwater recharge, and surface runoff. In studies of groundwater hydrology, it is useful to differentiate soils spatially according to their physical characteristics and to assign values that indicate their hydrologic responses.
The principal purpose of this report is to describe the relation between the hydrologic characteristics of the soils in the study area and those environmental factors that affect the development and distribution of the soils. This objective will be achieved by (1) defining both qualitatively and quantitatively those soil characteristics that affect hydrology, and (2) classifying and delineating the boundaries of the soils in the study area according to these hydrologic characteristics.
The study area includes the High Plains, Northern Great Plains, the Central Texas Carbonates, and parts of the Central Midwest Regional Aquifer Systems as described by the U.S. Geological Survey Regional Aquifer-System Analysis (RASA) Program (Sun, 1986, p.5and Sun, personal commun., June 1985) and shown in figures 1 through 5. The spatial patterns of the soils classified according to their quantifiable hydrologic characteristics will subsequently serve as an integral component in the analysis of actual evapotranspiration (consumptive water use), consumptive irrigation requirements, and potential ground-water recharge of the study area.
The classification system used to describe the soils in this report is compatible with that of Dugan (1986). Dugan described the same characteristics of soils that are immediately underlain by principal aquifers of Cretaceous or older age in adjacent parts of the Central Midwest Regional Aquifer System. However, map scales and mapping detail are different between this report and the report by Dugan (1986) because of the size of the study area.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Hydrologic characteristics of soils in the High Plains, northern Great Plains, and Central Texas Carbonates Regional Aquifer Systems
Series title:
Hydrologic Atlas
Series number:
714
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1990
Language:
ENGLISH
Description:
1 map :col. ;76 x 55 cm., on sheet 91 x 127 cm., folded in envelope 30 x 24 cm.
Scale:
68000
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N