Theme Session 21

Neogene Depositional Environments, Paleoclimatology, and Stratigraphic Architecture of the Succession Forming the High Plains Aquifer

P. Allen Macfarlane, Kansas Geological Survey
Greg Ludvigson, Kansas Geological Survey
Marios Sophocleous, Kansas Geological Survey

The High Plains aquifer is one of the most heavily used sources of water in North America, yet surprisingly little is known of its depositional environments and the effects of sedimentary architecture across all scales. The distribution of permeable and low-permeability beds greatly impacts recharge, ground-water availability, flow, and water quality characteristics. Significant saturated thickness declines have sparked interest in developing a better geologic model of the High Plains aquifer and specifically how this improved model might be used to inform ground-water management of the remaining water resources. The goal of this session is to share research results from a broad spectrum of projects related to the sedimentary geology, chronology, paleontology, and paleoclimate record of the Neogene High Plains succession--foundations for improved understanding of the hydrostratigraphic architecture of the High Plains aquifer.