Stage II Alarm Drought - 20% Reduction in Pumping
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Scientific Reports

The District strives to provide current and accessible documentation from the results of its many scientific studies. Below is a selected list of research areas and corresponding technical documents that can be used to better understand the hydrogeology of the District's aquifers.

-  Sustainable Yield, Groundwater Modeling, and DFCs
-  Hydrology, Drought, and Drought Trigger Methodology
-  Water-Level Monitoring
-  Saline-Water Zone/ASR
-  Edwards-Trinity Aquifer Connection & Characterization
-  Groundwater Tracing and Groundwater Flow Studies
-  Water-Quality Studies
-  Recharge and Recharge Enhancement
-  Geologic Mapping and Aquifer Characterization
-  Other Publications

Types and sources of publications

Abstracts are short summaries of scientific findings presented at technical conferences and meetings. Many abstracts are from conference or meeting proceedings such as the Geological Society of America (GSA), National Groundwater Association (NGWA), or the Austin Geological Society (AGS).

Data Series Reports contain basic data, with brief discussions of data, but does not contain significant interpretations. These are mostly BSEACD documents.

Reports are stand-alone technical documents that provide data and interpretations. These are generally produced by agencies like the BSEACD, US Geological Survey (USGS), City of Austin (COA), and the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB).  Some reports are done by consulting agencies such as HDR, Inc., or Southwest Research Institute (SWRI).

Papers are technical documents that provide data and interpretations usually within a collection of other related technical papers. These papers are often presented at conferences and found within meeting proceedings such as the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies (GCAGS), Austin Geological Society (AGS), or other sources.

Posters are technical summaries of scientific findings presented with an abstracts and key figures. Posters are often presented at conferences, but only abstracts are generally published in proceedings.



Title      Summary      Topic      Source      Format      Year
  
Groundwater Flow as Evidenced from a Historic Petroleum Contamination Site, Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer, Austin, Texas
Leaking petroleum storage tanks from gas stations are one of the most common sources of contamination of groundwater in the U.S. and Texas. In 1992 a 2,900 gallon gasoline and diesel release occurred at the Big Wheel Truck Stop located on the highly sensitive Edwards Aquifer in Austin, Texas. The fate and transport of the contaminants in the aquifer was never fully realized in the subsequent site studies required by the State of Texas. We hypothesize that by applying an accurate conceptual aquifer model to the historic site investigation data, combined with recent hydrogeologic data, one can realistically constrain the fate and transport of the released contaminants. Key aspects of that conceptual model should include the karstic nature of the Edwards Aquifer and the proximity of the site to a major fault zone. Results of our evaluation suggest that the petroleum hydrocarbons likely behaved similar to groundwater tracing studies performed in the region, with approximate minimum flow velocities of 400-500 ft/d. The spill was therefore one of the first (unintended) groundwater tracer tests in the region. Contaminants at wells down-gradient and off-site from the spill quickly decreased in concentration in a matter of days as the detached plume moved rapidly past the wells, or became diluted. Soil and epikarst horizons were likely a source for remobilization of contaminants with subsequent recharge events. After remediation of the soil in 1996, it took more than five years for groundwater contaminant concentrations at the spill site to reach target levels. By using an accurate conceptual model at this site, limited historic site contamination data provides insight into how future petroleum contaminants could behave in the karstic Edwards Aquifer recharge zone. A secondary finding of the evaluation was that the Mount Bonnell fault, running through the site, appears to behave as a barrier to inter-aquifer flow in the study area. This has implications for water resource management of the Edwards and Trinity Aquifers.
Source: Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District
Format: Report of Investigations
Year: 2014
 
 
Potentiometric Surface Investigation of the Middle Trinity Aquifer in Western Hays County, Texas
Pleasant Valley Spring (PVS) and Jacob’s Well Spring (JWS) are large karst springs providing perennial baseflow to the Blanco River and Cypress Creek, respectively, which eventually recharges the Edwards Aquifer. JWS flow has become intermittent in recent years due to drought and increased pumping driven by nearby population growth within the Cypress Creek watershed. In order to better understand groundwater flow and sources of recharge to these springs (springsheds), we created a potentiometric map of the area surrounding the springs from water level measurements (n=59) taken in July 2013. Springflow measurements (n=9) were taken to document PVS springflow from Dec. 2012 to Aug. 2013. Results indicate that general groundwater flow is NW to SE in the study area, parallel to the direction of structural dip of Middle Trinity strata. Potentiometric gradients increase from 15ft/mi in recharge areas to 60ft/mi in the confined zone SE of the springs and major faults in the Balcones Fault Zone (BFZ). Potentiometric data suggest the Blanco River watershed, including and area of exposed Cow Creek Fm in the river, is a source of recharge for PVS. Potentiometric data suggest the source area for JWS could be limited to the Cypress Creek watershed, although contributions under differing hydrologic conditions could also include the Blanco River. We interpret a potentiometric trough, which represents a preferential flow path, surrounding the mapped JWS cave passage extending NW along Cypress Creek. A small potentiometric ridge is present between the Blanco River and Cypress Creek watersheds, suggesting a localized hydraulic separation between PVS and JWS. Additional evidence for hydrologic separation of the JWS and PVS springsheds was demonstrated by the differential springflow response to a large storm on May 25-26, 2013. PVS increased significantly in response to increased Blanco River flows, while JWS did not respond. These data help to define the source areas for PVS and JWS and suggest under drought conditions they may have independent springsheds. These data have implications for groundwater management and the preservation of springflows.
Source: BSEACD and others
Format: Report of Investigations
Year: 2014
 
 
Hydrologic Influences of the Blanco River on the Trinity and Edwards Aquifers, Central Texas, USA
The Blanco River of central Texas provides an important hydrologic link between surface and groundwater as it traverses two major karst aquifer systems—the Trinity and Edwards Aquifers. The Blanco River is characterized by alternating gaining and losing stretches due to the presence of springs that discharge water into the river and swallets that drain water from the river. The region consists primarily of Lower Cretaceous limestone, dolomite, and marls. One of the more significant springs along the Blanco River is Pleasant Valley Spring. During below-average flow conditions, Pleasant Valley Spring becomes the headwaters of the Blanco River even though the headwaters, under wet conditions, are about 50 km upstream. Water that enters the Edwards Aquifer from the Blanco River can eventually discharge at both San Marcos Springs to the south and Barton Springs to the north. During periods of extreme drought, when other recharging streams are dry, the Blanco River can provide enough water to the Edwards Aquifer that will help maintain flow at Barton Springs where endangered species of salamanders need sufficient flow of high-quality groundwater. In the western part of the study area, increasing rates of pumping from the Trinity Aquifer, combined with impact from drought, are reducing heads in the aquifer and are subsequently reducing springflows (such as from Pleasant Valley Spring) that sustain the Blanco River. Decreasing flow in the Blanco River can lead to less recharge to the Edwards Aquifer and less discharge from San Marcos and Barton Springs. A better understanding of these aquifer systems and how they are influenced by the Blanco River is important for management of groundwater in an area undergoing significant population growth.
Source: BSEACD and others
Format: Paper
Year: 2014
 
 
Refining the Freshwater/Saline-Water Interface, Edwards Aquifer, Hays and Travis Counties, Texas
This study refines the freshwater/saline-water interface in the Edwards Aquifer of Travis and Hays Counties based upon 855 data points compiled from measured or estimated total dissolved solids (TDS) in groundwater. Changes to the boundary include localized lateral shifts of up to 1.3 miles and an apparent net loss of 3.8 mi2 of areal extent of freshwater aquifer. The freshwater/saline-water interface as mapped is a two-dimensional estimate of a very complex three-dimensional boundary. As with any mapped boundary, there is inherent uncertainty of the exact location and geometry of the interface. Studies suggest the interface appears to be relatively stable over time in the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. Variation in TDS values measured in wells along the interface could be due to localized flow within boreholes rather than true encroachment of the saline zone. Although saline encroachment does not appear to be a threat to freshwater supplies, changes in the springflow chemistry at Barton Springs suggests some leakage from the saline zone under drought conditions. This improved boundary map has relevance to future water availability (aquifer storage and recovery, desalination), karst speleogenesis (hypogene processes), groundwater flow, and groundwater management.
Source: BSEACD
Format: Report of Investigations
Year: 2014
 
 
Policy Overview of the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District
An overview of the District, water planning, available groundwater, groundwater resources, permitting, recharge, history of droughts and floods, and contact information.
Source: BSEACD
Format: Fact Sheet
Year: 2014
 
 
Water Level Maps of the Edwards and Middle Trinity Aquifers, Central TexasWater Level Geodatabase (for Access and GIS Users, zipped)
Source: BSEACD
Format: Fact Sheet
Year: 2014
 
 
Cover-collapse sinkhole development in the Cretaceous Edwards Limestone, central Texas
Source: 13th Sinkhole Conference (Carlsbad, NM)
Format: Paper
Year: 2013
 
 
Enhanced recharge to the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer, Central Texas
Source: Carbonates and Evaporites (Journal)
Format: Paper
Year: 2013
 
 
Dye Tracing REsults from the Arbor Trails Sinkhole, Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer, Austin, Texas
Source: BSEACD
Format: Report of Investigations
Year: 2013
 
 
Evaluating the Hydrologic Connection of the Blanco River and Barton Springs using Discharge and Geochemical Data
Source: BSEACD
Format: Report of Investigations
Year: 2013
 
 
Hydrological and Geochemical Characteristics in the Edwards and Trinity Hydrostratigraphic Units using Multiport Monitor wells in the Balcones Fault Zone, Hays County, Central Texas
Source: Geological Society of America (GSA)
Format: Poster
Year: 2013
 
 
Evaluating the Hydrologic Connection of the Blanco River and Barton Springs Using Discharge and Geochemical Data
Source: Geological Society of America (GSA)
Format: Poster
Year: 2013
 
 
Drought Trigger Methodology for the Barton Springs Aquifer, Travis and Hays Counties, Texas
Source: BSEACD
Format: Report
Year: 2013
 
 
Resistivity Imaging and Natural Potential Applications to the Antioch Fault Zone in the Onion Creek/Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer, Buda, Texas
Source: GCAGS Transactions
Format: Paper
Year: 2012
 
 
Revisiting the Hydrologic Divide Between the San Antonio and Barton Springs Segments of the Edwards Aquifer: Insights from Recent Studies
Source: GCAGS Journal
Format: Paper
Year: 2012
 
 
Temporal Trends in Precipitation and hydrologic Responses Affecting the Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer, Central Texas
Source: GCAGS Transactions
Format: Paper
Year: 2012
 
 
Tracing Groundwater Flowpaths in the Vicinity of San Marcos Springs, Texas
Source: Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA)
Format: Report
Year: 2012
 
 
Dye Trace Simulation of an Accidental Spill Phase 10: State Highway 45 Southwest and MoPac South into Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer Travis County, Texas. Short Report SR-13-01
Source: City of Austin
Format: Report
Year: 2012
 
 
If Not the Edwards, Then What?
Source: GCAGS
Format: Abstract
Year: 2012
 
 
Real and Apparent Daily Springflow Fluctuations during Drought Conditions in a Karst Aquifer, Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer, Central Texas
Source: GCAGS Transactions
Format: Paper
Year: 2012
 
 
Interconnection of the Trinity (Glen Rose) and Edwards Aquifers along the Balcones Fault Zone and Related Topics
Source: Proceedings from the Feb. 2011 Karst Conservation Initiative Meeting
Format: Proceedings
Year: 2011
 
 
Long-Term Trends in Precipitation, Streamflow, and Barton Springs Discharge, Central Texas
Source: 2011 Karst Hydrogeology & Ecosystems Conference
Format: Poster
Year: 2011
 
 
“Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District uses ground water science to better understand Central Texas aquifers”
Source: Texas Groundwater Association's Fountainhead Newsletter
Format: Newsletter Article
Year: 2011
 
 
Onion Creek Recharge Project Northern Hays County, Texas
Source: BSEACD
Format: Report
Year: 2011
 
 
Recharge Enhancement, Multiport Well Monitoring, Geophysics, and Springflow: Barton Springs Segment of hte Edwards Aquifer
Source: BSEACD and COA
Format: Fieldtrip Guidebook
Year: 2011
 
 
A Survey of Dissolved Oxygen in Groundwater During Drought Conditions, Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer, Central Texas
Source: 14th World Lake Conference
Format: Poster
Year: 2011
 
 
Source: GSA
Format: Abstract
Year: 2011
 
 
Hydrologic Connectivity in the Edwards Aquifer betweeen San Marcos Spring and Barton Springs during 2009 Drought Conditions
Source: Texas Water Journal
Format: Paper
Year: 2011
 
 
An investigation of vertical mixing between two carbonate aquifers using a multiport monitor well, central Texas
Source: American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Format: Poster
Year: 2011
 
 
Source: 14th World Lake Conference
Format: Abstract
Year: 2011
 
 
Source: BSEACD
Format: Tech Note
Year: 2011
 
 
Source: GSA
Format: Abstract
Year: 2011
 
 
Three-Dimensional Geologic Model of the Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer, Central Texas
Source: GCAGS
Format: Paper
Year: 2010
 
 
Compilation of Pumping Tests in Travis and Hays Counties, Central Texas
Source: BSEACD
Format: Data Series
Year: 2010
 
 
Hydrogeologic Atlas of the Hill Country Trinity Aquifer, Blanco, Hays, and Travis Counties, Central Texas
Source: HTGCD, BSEACD, BPGCD
Format: Report
Year: 2010
 
 
Recharge Enhancement and Protection of a Karst Aquifer in Central Texas
Source: 4th International Symposium on Karst (ISKA-2010)
Format: Paper (abstract only here)
Year: 2010
 
 
Evaluation of Hydrologic Connection between San Marcos Springs and Barton Springs through the Edwards Aquifer
Source: HDR, Inc.
Format: Report
Year: 2010
 
 
Hydrologic Connection of the Edwards Aquifer betweenSan Marcos Springs and Barton Springs, Texas
Source: GCAGS
Format: Paper
Year: 2010
 
 
Flow Potential Between Stacked Karst Aquifers in Central Texas
Source: 4th International Symposium on Karst (ISKA-2010)
Format: Paper (abstract only here)
Year: 2010
 
 
Hydraulic Interaction Between the Edwards and Trinity Aquifers
Source: Plate from the Hydrogeologic Atlas project
Format: Report
Year: 2010
 
 
Spring 2009 Potentiometric Map of the Middle Trinity Aquifer in Groundwater Management Area 9, Central TexasClick here for UT Digital Repository copy.
Source: BSEACD
Format: Report
Year: 2010
 
 
A Comparison of the 1950s Drought of Record and the 2009 Drought,Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer, Central Texas
Source: GCAGS
Format: Paper
Year: 2010
 
 
Groundwater Chemistry in Southern Travis and Northern Hays Counties, Texas, 1998 through 2008
Source: BSEACD
Format: Data Series
Year: 2009
 
 
Fieldtrip Guidebook: Recharge and Discharge Features of the Edwards and Trinity Aquifers, Central Texas
Source: International Congress Speleology (ICS)
Format: Field Trip Guide
Year: 2009
 
 
Potential Hydraulic Connections Between the Edwards and Trinity Aquifers in the Balcones Fault Zone of Central Texas
Source: South Texas Geological Society (STGS)
Format: Paper
Year: 2009
 
 
Update of Groundwater Availability Model for Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer Utilizing the Modflow-DCM code
Source: SWRI
Format: Report
Year: 2009
 
 
Multilevel Monitoring and Characterization of the Edwards and Trinity Aquifers of Central Texas
Source: GSA
Format: Abstract
Year: 2008
 
 
Multilevel Monitoring and Characterization of the Edwards and Trinity Aquifers of Central Texas
Source: GCAGS
Format: Paper
Year: 2008
 
 
Characterization and Management of a Karst Aquifer in Central Texas
Source: GSA
Format: Abstract
Year: 2008
 
 
Potentiometric Maps for Low to High Flow Conditions, Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer, Central Texas
Source: BSEACD
Format: Report
Year: 2007
 
 
Recharge Enhancement and Automated Monitoring of a Karst Aquifer in Central Texas
Source: Conference on Non-Point Source Pollution (NPS)
Format: Abstract
Year: 2007
 
 
Variability of Hydraulic Relationships Between the Edwards and Trinity Aquifers of the Balcones Fault Zone of Central Texas
Source: NGWA
Format: Abstract
Year: 2007
 
 
Geophysical Delineation of the Freshwater/Saline-water Transition Zone in the Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer, Travis and Hays Counties, Texas, September 2006
Source: USGS
Format: Report
Year: 2007
 
 
Temporal Changes in Potentiometric Surfaces in a Karst Aquifer: Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer, Central Texas
Source: NGWA
Format: Abstract
Year: 2007
 
 
Sustainable Yield of a Karst Aquifer in Central Texas
Source: NGWA Karst
Format: Paper
Year: 2007
 
 
Wells and Pumping (1989-2006) in the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District, Central Texas
Source: BSEACD
Format: Data Series
Year: 2006
 
 
Groundwater Levels in the Balcones Fault Zone, Hays and Travis Counties, Texas 1937-2005
Source: BSEACD
Format: Report
Year: 2006
 
 
Summary of 2005 Groundwater Dye Tracing, Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer, Hays and Travis Counties, Central Texas
Source: BSEACD
Format: Report
Year: 2006
 
 
Drought Trigger Methodology for a Karst Aquifer System: Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer, Central Texas
Source: NGWA
Format: Abstract
Year: 2006
 
 
Drought Trigger Methodology for the Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer, Travis and Hays Counties
Source: Austin Geological Society
Format: Poster
Year: 2006
 
 
Groundwater Flow in the Edwards Aquifer: Comparison of Groundwater Modeling and Dye Trace Results
Source: ASCE
Format: Paper
Year: 2005
 
 
Dye tracing recharge features under high-flow conditions, Onion Creek, Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards aquifer, Hays County, Texas
Source: AGS
Format: Paper
Year: 2005
 
 
Ground-Water Availability Modeling of the Three Major Segments of the Edwards Aquifer, Central Texas
Source: NGWA
Format: Poster
Year: 2005
 
 
Groundwater Flow in the Edwards Aquifer: Comparison of Groundwater Modeling and Dye Trace Results
Source: ASCE
Format: Paper
Year: 2005
 
 
Flow Systems of the Edwards Aquifer Barton Springs Segment, Interpreted from Tracing and Associated Field Studies
Source: Edwards Symposium
Format: Paper
Year: 2004
 
 
Groundwater-Level Monitoring Program: Example from the Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer, Central Texas
Source: Texas Water Monitoring Congress (TWMC)
Format: Paper
Year: 2004
 
 
Evaluation of Sustainable Yield of the Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer, Hays and Travis Counties, Central Texas
Source: BSEACD
Format: Report
Year: 2004
 
 
Sustainable Yield Studies of the Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer
Source: Edwards Symposium
Format: Extended Abstract
Year: 2004
 
 
Groundwater Availability during Drought Conditions in the Edwards Aquifer, Hays and Travis Counties, Texas
Source: GCAGS
Format: Paper
Year: 2004
 
 
Summary of Groundwater Dye Tracing Studies (1996-2002), Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer
Source: BSEACD
Format: Report
Year: 2002
 
 
Water Quality Study of the Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer, Southern Travis and Northern Hays Counties, Texas
Source: BSEACD
Format: Report
Year: 2001
 
 
Implementation of Best Management Practices to Reduce Nonpoint Source Loadings to Onion Creek Recharge Features
Source: BSEACD
Format: Report
Year: 1998