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Digital Hydrogeologic Surface and Thickness of the Mississippi Embayment Regional Aquifer Study (MERAS)


Short Title: MERAS Framework
Project Chief: Rheannon Hart
Cooperator: U.S. Geological Survey Office of Ground-Water Resources Program
Project Time Frame: January 2006 - 2009

A hydrogeologic framework for a ground-water flow model is under development as part of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Ground-Water Resources Program to aid in determining ground-water availability in selected areas of the United States. The Mississippi Embayment Regional Aquifer Study (MERAS) encompasses about 70,000 mi2 and parts of eight states including Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. Over 2,750 geophysical logs were compiled for the study area in the Mississippi embayment to create digital surfaces of the principal geologic units from land surface to the top of the Midway confining unit of upper Paleocene age. Thickness maps were created for all the units for which tops and bases were determined. The digital surfaces and thickness maps were created to provide a framework for a regional ground-water flow model of the MERAS and to provide digital grids of the surfaces of selected hydrogeologic units within the Mississippi embayment aquifer system for use in additional ground-water investigations.

Photo of USGS gage at Lake Maumelle Map showing Mississippi Embayment.

The method used to create each digital hydrogeologic surface included interpretation of the altitude of the top of each hydrogeologic unit from over 2,750 geophysical logs. The geophysical logs were primarily from petroleum test wells and domestic and public supply water wells. Geophysical logs were chosen based on availability and spatial distribution. Resistivity and natural gamma logs were used to interpret the top of each unit of interest. Land-surface datums were determined and altitudes were calculated for nine hydrogeologic surfaces of the Mississippi embayment. Outcrop and subcrop extents were determined from published reports and/or from geophysical log interpretations. Thickness maps were constructed for each unit using the GIS to calculate the difference between the altitude of the interpreted top of the unit and the altitude of the interpreted top of the underlying unit.

For more information on the Mississippi Embayment Regional Aquifer Study (MERAS) project please visit the project's web page at the following URL: http://ar.water.usgs.gov/meras/index2.php

Publications
Scientific Investigations Report 2009-5172 Scientific Investigations Report 2009-5172
The Mississippi Embayment Regional Aquifer Study (MERAS): Documentation of a Groundwater-Flow Model Constructed to Assess Water Availability in the Mississippi Embayment,
By Brian R. Clark and Rheannon M. Hart
Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5149 Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5149
Summary of Aquifer Test Data for Arkansas--1940-2006,
by Aaron L. Pugh
Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5192 Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5192
Geophysical Log Database for the Mississippi Embayment Regional Aquifer Study (MERAS),
by Rheannon M. Hart and Brian R. Clark
Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5098 Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5098
Digital Surfaces and Thicknesses of Selected Hydrogeologic Units within the Mississippi Embayment Regional Aquifer Study (MERAS),
by Rheannon M. Hart, Brian R. Clark, and Susan E. Bolyard
Scientific Investigations Map 3014 Scientific Investigations Map 3014
Potentiometric Surface in the Sparta-Memphis Aquifer of the Mississippi Embayment, Spring 2007,
By T.P. Schrader
U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 448-B U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 448-B
General geology of the Mississippi embayment,
by E.M. Cushing, E.H. Boswell, and R.L. Hosman
U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 448-C U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 448-C
Water resources of the Mississippi embayment; Cretaceous aquifers in the Mississippi embayment, with discussions of quality of the water,
by Boswell, E. H.; Moore, G. K.; MacCary, L. M.; Jeffery, H. G.; and others
U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 448-D U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 448-D
Water resources of the Mississippi embayment; Tertiary aquifers in the Mississippi embayment, with discussions of quality of the water,
by Hosman, R. L.; Long, A. T.; Lambert, T. W.; Jeffery, H. G.; and others
U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 448-E U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 448-E
Quaternary aquifers in the Mississippi embayment, with a discussion of quality of the water,
by Boswell, E. H.; Cushing, E. M.; Hosman, R. L.; Jeffery, H. G.
U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1416-B U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1416-B
Geohydrologic units of the Mississippi Embayment and Texas coastal uplands aquifer systems, south-central United States,
by Hosman, R. L.; Weiss, J. S.
U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1416-D U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1416-D
Hydrology of the Mississippi River valley alluvial aquifer, south-central United States,
by D.J. Ackerman
Water-Resources Investigations Report 85-4116 Water-Resources Investigations Report 85-4116
Geohydrologic units of the Gulf Coastal Plain in Arkansas,
by Petersen, J. C.; Broom, M. E.; Bush, W. V.

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