Title

Conceptualization and simulation of the Edwards Aquifer, San Antonio Region, Texas

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Publisher

U.S. Geological Survey

Publication Date

January 2013

Abstract

A new numerical ground-water-flow model (Edwards aquifer model) that incorporates important components of the latest information and plausible conceptualization of the Edwards aquifer was developed. The model includes both the San Antonio and Barton Springs segments of the Edwards aquifer in the San Antonio region, Texas, and was calibrated for steady-state (1939–46) and transient (1947–2000) conditions, excluding Travis County. Transient simulations were conducted using monthly recharge and pumpage (withdrawal) data. The model incorporates conduits simulated as continuously connected (other than being separated in eastern Uvalde and southwestern Medina Counties), one-cell-wide (1,320 feet) zones with very large hydraulic-conductivity values (as much as 300,000 feet per day). The locations of the conduits were based on a number of factors, including major potentiometric-surface troughs in the aquifer, the presence of sinking streams, geochemical information, and geologic structures (for example, faults and grabens). The simulated directions of flow in the Edwards aquifer model are most strongly influenced by the presence of simulated conduits and barrier faults. The simulated flow in the Edwards aquifer is influenced by the locations of the simulated conduits, which tend to facilitate flow. The simulated subregional flow directions generally are toward the nearest conduit and subsequently along the conduits from the recharge zone into the confined zone and toward the major springs. Structures simulated in the Edwards aquifer model influencing ground-water flow that tend to restrict flow are barrier faults. The influence of simulated barrier faults on flow directions is most evident in northern Medina County. A water budget is an accounting of inflow to, outflow from, and storage change in the aquifer. For the Edwards aquifer model steady-state simulation, recharge (from seepage losses from streams and infiltration of rainfall) accounts for 93.5 percent of the sources of water to the Edwards aquifer, and inflow

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Type

Article

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serial

Identifier

SFS0055782_00001

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