The environmental and hydrologic setting of the Ozark Plateaus National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) study unit and the factors that affect water quality are described in this report. The primary natural and cultural features that affect water- quality characteristics and the potential for future water-quality problems are described. These environmental features include climate, physio- graphy, geology, soils, population, land use, water use, and surface- and ground-water flow systems. The study-unit area is approximately 47,600 square miles and includes most of the Ozark Plateaus Province and parts of the adjacent Osage Plains and Mississippi Alluvial Plain in parts of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. The geology is characterized by basement igneous rocks overlain by a thick sequence of dolomites, limestones, sandstones, and shales of Paleozoic age. Land use in the study unit is predominantly pasture and forest in the southeastern part, and pasture and cropland in the northwestern part. All or part of the White, Neosho-lllinois, Osage, Gasconade, Meramec, St. Francis, and Black River Basins are within the study unit. Streams in the Boston Mountains contain the least mineralized water, and those in the Osage Plains contain the most mineralized water. The study unit contains eight hydrogeologic units including three major aquifers--the Springfield Plateau, Ozark, and St. Francois aquifers. Streams and aquifers in the study unit generally contain calcium or calcium-magnesium bicarbonate waters. Ground- and surface-water interactions are greatest in the Salem and Springfield Plateaus and least in the Boston Mountains and Osage Plains. Geology, land use, and population probably are the most important environmental factors that affect water quality.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Environmental and hydrologic setting of the Ozark Plateaus study unit, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Geological Survey ;
Open-File Reports Section [distributor],