Fillmore County, an area 24 miles square, lies in the eastern part of the Nebraska loess plain. Although tributaries of the Big Blue River have eroded valleys into this plain, much of the original surface is intact. Broad flats and numerous shallow undrained depressions characterize the plain.
The county is underlain by unconsolidated deposits of Quaternary age to depths ranging from about 80 to 450 feet. The upper part of this depositional sequence consists largely of wind-deposited clayey silt, and the lower part of stream-deposited sand and gravel. In part of the county, deposits of glacial till also are included. The Quaternary deposits mantle an eroded surface of marine-deposited strata of Cretaceous age.
The lower deposits of Quaternary age are saturated and constitute a highly productive aquifer throughout much of the county. The saturated zone ranges from about 20 to 350 feet in thickness. Replenishment to this aquifer, derived principally from precipitation, is believed to average about 1.4 inches per year. Because the quantity of ground water pumped per year exceeds the average annual quantity of recharge, some of the water used for irrigation is from storage. Consequently, water levels in wells .are declining. This trend is likely to continue.
The ground water is of the calcium bicarbonate type and is hard, but it is chemically suitable for irrigation use on most soils in the county.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Geology and ground-water resources of Fillmore County, Nebraska