Aquifer systems in Cretaceous and older rocks of the Central Midwest are divided on the basis of hydrochemistry and ground-water flow patterns in the Plains subregion, the Western Interior Plains aquifer system contains sodium chloride type water with large concentrations of dissolved solids. Ion ratios suggest that the water was derived from seawater by concentration and by depletion of calcium and sulfate ions. In the overlying Western Interior Plains confining system, concentrations of depositional sea water and dissolution of extensive evaporite deposits have resulted in sodium chloride type water with large concentrations of dissolved solids and sodium. Overlying this confining system in the northwest part of the study area, the Great Plains aquifer system yields water that generally is less mineralized and more variable in water type than the underlying systems. Recharge of meteoric water, concentration of brackish water in which the rocks were deposited, and dissolution of underlying evaporite deposits have contributed to the observed water chemistry. The Great Plains confining system restricts the exchange of water between the underlying Great Plains aquifer system and the overlying unconfined aquifers. In the Ozark subregion, geological units equivalent to the Western Interior Plains aquifer system comprise the Ozark Plateaus aquifer system. Units of this aquifer system are exposed at the land surface, and fresh meteoric water moves rapidly through fractures and solution openings. Water chemistry in this system reflects primarily the dissolution of the predominately carbonate rocks.