Hydrogeologic assessment of shallow groundwater flow systems in the Walnut Formation, Central Texas



Access rights

Worldwide access.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The Walnut Formation is the most clay-rich member of the limestone dominated Lower Cretaceous rocks of central Texas. Due to this clayey nature, the Walnut Formation is a natural target for landfills in this region. Shallow groundwater flow systems present within the Walnut Formation provide baseflow to streams which transect the Walnut outcrop belt in Central Texas. Three sites within the outcrop belt of the Walnut Formation were investigated. The Walnut flow systems are geomorphically and stratigraphically controlled, and recharge zones are influenced by the geomorphic history and subsequent soil formation. Discharge zones are controlled by seasonal influences, stratigraphy, and geomorphic position. Field observations indicated saturated zones in the near surface Walnut Formation may produce hydraulic heads above ground elevation. These saturated zones, within the weathered depth of the Walnut Formation, discharge to main streams by tributary discharge and spring flow. Conceptual models of the flow systems were constructed following field observations, hydrogeolgic testing (slug tests and pumping tests), geochemical analyses, and hydrograph analysis and interpretation. Regionally, the Walnut flow systems relate to the condition of the underlying Paluxy Formation (a minor aquifer). Flow systems of the Walnut Formation are important from a regional perspective due to the potential of non-point source contamination to surface waters by landuse practices on the Walnut outcrop area.



Limestone, Paluxy Formation, Geomorphology, Hydrogeology