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Geohydrology of Rush County

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Glossary of Terms

Many of the county reports of ground-water investigations in Kansas contain summaries of the principles of occurrence and movement of ground water as discussed by Meinzer (1923a) and Moore and others (1940); the reader is referred to Lane (1960, p. 25-39), Bayne (1960, p. 25-30), or Hodson and Wahl (1960, p. 28-32) for a discussion of the subject. Most of the following definitions of technical terms commonly used in a discussion of ground water are from Leonard and Berry (1961, p. 58-61), as adapted from Meinzer (1923b); however, some are from Lohman and others (1972).

Aquifer--A rock formation, bed, or zone that contains water that is available to wells. An aquifer is sometimes referred to as a water-bearing rock, or water-bearing bed.

Artesian water--Ground water under sufficient hydraulic pressure to rise above the level at which the water-bearing rock is tapped in drilling a well. Equivalent to confined ground water. The pressure is sometimes called artesian pressure and the rock containing artesian water is an artesian aquifer or confined aquifer.

Colluvial--Of or relating to gravitational processes. Colluvial deposits result from action of gravity pulling loose material downhill.

Confining bed--A less permeable rock layer that overlies or underlies an aquifer and retards vertical movement of water.

Eolian--Of or relating to wind or wind action. Eolian deposits result from deposition of wind-carried sediment.

Evapotranspiration--The combined total water evaporated by heat energy and transpired by plants into the atmosphere.

Fluvial--Of or relating to streams or running water. Fluvial deposits result from deposition of water-carried sediment.

Gaining stream--A stream or reach of a stream whose flow is being increased by inflow of ground water. Replaces the term "effluent stream."

Ground water--Water in the saturated zone or water below the water table.

Hydraulic conductivity--A measure of the rate of flow of water through an aquifer, which is dependent primarily on the nature of the interstices within the aquifer. Expressed in units of length per units of time that are consistent and suitable to the problem involved. Replaces the term "field coefficient of permeability." To convert a value of hydraulic conductivity to a value for coefficient of permeability, multiply by 7.48.

Hydraulic gradient--Gradient of the water table measured in the direction of the greatest slope, generally expressed in feet per mile.

Impermeable rock--An impervious rock, through which movement of water under common subsurface pressure differentials is negligible.

Inflow--Movement of ground water into an area in response to a hydraulic gradient.

Interstice--An opening or void in a rock. Interstices may be filled with air, gas, oil, water, or some other material. The interstices in an aquifer are filled with water.

Losing stream--A stream or reach of a stream that is losing water to the ground. Replaces the term "influent stream."

Outflow--Movement of ground water from an area in response to a hydraulic gradient.

Percolate--The movement of water through soil and rock to the saturated zone.

Permeable rock--Pervious rock, or a rock that has a texture permitting water to move through it readily under ordinary pressure differentials.

Permeability--The capacity of water-bearing rock to transmit water, which is related to the size and interconnection of interstices. The field coefficient of permeability, is expressed as the rate of flow of water at the prevailing temperature, in gallons per day, through each mile of width and for each foot of thickness of an aquifer under a hydraulic gradient of 1 foot per mile; replaced by the term "hydraulic conductivity." To convert a value for field coefficient of permeability to the equivalent value of hydraulic conductivity, multiply by 0.134.

Porosity--The porosity of a rock is its property of containing openings or interstices. Quantitatively, the porosity of a rock is the ratio (usually expressed as a percentage) of the volume of openings in the rock to the total volume of the rock.

Recharge--The process by which water is absorbed and added to the saturated zone. Also used to designate the quantity of water added to the ground-water reservoir.

Runoff--The discharge of water through surface streams. It includes both surface-water runoff and ground-water runoff. Also used to designate the quantity of water discharged as runoff.

Saturated zone--The zone of porous rocks saturated with water. Ground water is contained in this zone.

Storage--Water stored in openings in the saturated zone is said to be in storage. Discharge of water from an aquifer not replaced by recharge is said to be from storage.

Storage coefficient--The volume of water released from or taken into storage per unit surface area of an aquifer per unit change in the component of head normal to that surface.

Transmissibility--The transmissibility of a rock is its capacity to transmit water under pressure. The coefficient of transmissibility is the field coefficient of permeability multiplied by the saturated thickness, in feet, of the aquifer; replaced by the term "transmissivity." To convert a value of transmissivity to a value for coefficient of transmissibility, multiply by 7.48.

Transmissivity--The rate at which water is transmitted through a unit width of an aquifer under a unit hydraulic gradient. Expressed in units of length squared per units of time. Replaces the term "coefficient of transmissibility." To convert a value for coefficient of transmissibility to an equivalent value of transmissivity, multiply by 0.134.

Water table--The upper surface of the saturated zone where the pressure is atmospheric. The water table is not a plane surface, but has irregularities much like the land surface.

Selected References

Bass, N. W., 1926, Geologic investigations in western Kansas, pt. 1, Geology of Ellis County: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 11, p. 1-52.

Bayne, C. K., 1960, Geology and ground-water resources of Harper County, Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 143, 184 p. [available online]

Bayne, C. K., and O'Connor, H. G., 1968, Quaternary System, in Zeller, D. E., ed., The stratigraphic succession in Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 189, p. 59-67. [available online]

Cole, V. B., 1962, Configuration of top of Precambrian rocks in Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Oil and Gas Invest. No. 26, map.

Cole, V. B., and Merriam, D. F., 1962, Progress report of the Kansas Basement Rocks Committee and additional Precambrian wells: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 157, pt. 2, 11 p.

Cole, V. B., Merriam, D. F., Franks, P. C., Hambleton, W. W., and Hilpman, P. L., 1961, Wells drilled into Precambrian rock in Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 150, 169 p.

Cole, V. B., Merriam, D. F., and Hambleton, W. W., 1965, Final report of the Kansas Geological Society Basement Rock Committee and list of Kansas wells drilled into Precambrian rocks: Kansas Geol. Survey, Spec. Distrib. Pub. 25, 48 p.

Comly, H. H., 1945, Cyanosis in infants caused by nitrates in well water: Am. Med. Assoc., Jour., v. 129, p. 112-116.

Cragin, F. W., 1889, Contributions to the paleontology of the Plains: Washburn Coll. Lab. Nat. Hist., v. 2, no. 10, p. 65-68.

Cragin, F. W., 1894, Descriptions of invertebrate fossils from the Comanche Series in Texas, Kansas, and Indian Territory: Colorado Coll. Studies, 5th Ann. Pub., p. 49-69.

Darton, N. H., 1899, Preliminary report on the geology and water resources of Nebraska west of the one hundred and third meridian, pt. 4, Hydrology: U.S. Geol. Survey, 19th Ann. Rept., p. 719-785.

Darton, N. H., 1920, Description of the Syracuse-Lakin quadrangle (Kansas): U.S. Geol. Survey, Geol. Atlas, Folio 212, 10 P.

Dean, H. T., 1936, Chronic endemic dental fluorosis: Am. Med. Assoc., Jour., v. 107, p. 1269-1272.

Dean, H. T., and others, 1941, Domestic water and dental caries: Public Health Reports, v. 56, p. 365-381, 761-792.

Durfor, C. N., and Becker, Edith, 1964, Public water supplies of the 100 largest cities in the United States, 1962: U.S. Geol. Survey, Water-Supply Paper 1812, 364 p. [available online]

Farquhar, O. C., 1957, The Precambrian rocks of Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 127, pt. 3, p. 53-122.

Ferris, J. G., Knowles, D. B., Brown, R. H., and Stallman, R. W., 1962, Theory of aquifer tests: U.S. Geol. Survey, Water-Supply Paper 1536-E, p. 69-174. [available online]

Fishel, V. C., 1952, Ground-water resources of Pawnee Valley, Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 94, 144 p. [available online]

Frye, J. C., and Brazil, J. J., 1943, Ground water in the oil-field areas of Ellis and Russell Counties, Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 50, 104 p.

Frye, J. C., and Leonard, A. B., 1952, Pleistocene geology of Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 99, 230 p. [available online]

Frye, J. C., Leonard, A. B., and Swineford, Ada, 1956, Stratigraphy of the Ogallala Formation (Neogene) of northern Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 118, 91 p. [available online]

Frye, J. C., and Schoewe, W. H., 1953, The basis of physiographic subdivision of Kansas: Kansas Acad. Sci., Trans., v. 56, no. 2, p. 246-252.

Gilbert, G. K., 1896, The underground water of the Arkansas Valley in eastern Colorado: U.S. Geol. Survey, 17th Ann. Rept., pt. 2, p. 551-601.

Hattin, D. E., 1962, Stratigraphy of the Carlile Shale (Upper Cretaceous) in Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 156, 155 p. [available online]

Hattin, D. E., 1965, Stratigraphy of the Graneros Shale (Upper Cretaceous) in central Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 178, 83 p. [available online]

Hem, J. D., 1970, Study and interpretation of the chemical characteristics of natural water: U.S. Geol. Survey, Water-Supply Paper 1473, 2d ed., 363 p. [available online]

Hodson, W. G., 1965, Geology and ground-water resources of Trego County, Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 174, 80 p. [available online]

Hodson, W. G., and Wahl, K. D., 1960, Geology and ground-water resources of Gove County, Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 145, 126 p. [available online]

Kansas State Board of Agriculture, 1971, Farm facts 1970-1971: Kansas State Board of Agriculture, 96

Landes, K. K., and Keroher, R. P., 1938, Geology and oil and gas resources of Rush County: Kansas Geol. Survey, Min. Res. Circ. 4, 31 p. [available online]

Lane, C. W., 1960, Geology and ground-water resources of Kingman County, Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 144, 174 p. [available online]

Latta, B. F., 1946, Cretaceous stratigraphy of the Belvidere area, Kiowa County, Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 64, pt. 6, p. 219-260. [available online]

Latta, B. F., 1950, Geology and ground-water resources of Barton and Stafford Counties, Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 88, 228 p. [available online]

Lee, Wallace, 1953, Subsurface geologic cross section from Meade County to Smith County, Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Oil and Gas Invest. No. 9, 24 p.

Leonard, A. B., 1950, A Yarmouthian molluscan fauna in the midcontinent region of the United States, art. 3, Mollusca: Univ. Kansas, Paleont. Contr., 48 p. [available online]

Leonard, A. R., and Berry, D. W., 1961, Geology and ground-water resources of southern Ellis County and parts of Trego and Rush Counties, Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 149, 156 p. [available online]

Logan, W. N., 1897, The Upper Cretaceous of Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, v. 2, p. 195-234.

Lohman, S. W., and others, 1972, Definitions of selected ground-water terms--revisions and conceptual refinements: U.S. Geol. Survey, Water-Supply Paper 1988, 21 p. [available online]

McLaughlin, T. J., 1949, Geology and ground-water resources of Pawnee and Edwards Counties, Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 80, 189 p. [available online]

Meek, F. B., and Hayden, F. V., 1862, Description of new Lower Silurian (Primardial), Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Tertiary fossils, collected in Nebraska Territory, with some remarks on the rocks from which they were collected: Acad. Nat. Sci., Philadelphia Proc., v. 13, p. 415-447.

Meinzer, O. E., 1923a, The occurrence of ground water in the United States, with a discussion of principles: U.S. Geol. Survey, Water-Supply Paper 489, 321 p. [available online]

Meinzer, O. E., 1923b, Outline of ground-water hydrology, with definitions: U.S. Geol. Survey, Water-Supply Paper 494, 71 p. [available online]

Merriam, D. F., 1957, Subsurface correlation and stratigraphic relation of rocks of Mesozoic age in Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Oil and Gas Invest. No. 14, 25 p.

Merriam, D. F., 1960, Preliminary structural contour map on top of Mississippian rocks in Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Oil and Gas Invest. No. 22, map.

Merriam, D. F., 1963, The geologic history of Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 162, 317 p. [available online]

Merriam, D. F., Atkinson, W. R., Franks, P. C., Plummer, Norman, and Preston, F. W., 1959, Description of a Dakota (Cretaceous) core from Cheyenne County, Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 134, pt. 1, p. 1-104.

Merriam, D. F., and Kelly, T. E., 1960, Preliminary regional structural contour map on top of "Hunton" (Silurian-Devonian) rocks in Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Oil and Gas Invest. No. 23, map.

Merriam, D. F., and Smith, Polly, 1961, Preliminary regional structural contour map on top of Arbuckle rocks (Cambrian-Ordovician) in Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Oil and Gas Invest. No. 25, map.

Merriam, D. F., Winchell, R. L., and Atkinson, W. R., 1958, Preliminary regional structural contour map on top of the Lansing Group (Pennsylvanian) in Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Oil and Gas Invest. No. 19, map.

Moore, R. C., Frye, J. C., and Jewett, J. M., 1944, Tabular description of outcropping rocks in Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 52, pt. 4, p. 137-212.

Moore, R. C., Frye, J. C., Jewett, J. M., Lee, Wallace, and O'Connor, H. G., 1951, The Kansas rock column: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 89, 132 [available online]

Moore, R. C., and others, 1940, Ground-water resources of Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 27, 112 p.

Moss, R. G., 1932, Geology of Ness and Hodgeman Counties: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 19, 48 p. [available online]

Norton, G. H., 1939, Permian redbeds of Kansas: Am. Assoc. Petroleum Geologists, Bull., v. 23, p. 1751-1819.

O'Connor, H. G., 1968, Cretaceous System, in Zeller, D. E., ed., The stratigraphic succession in Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 189, p. 54-58. [available online]

Piper, A. M., 1944, A graphic procedure in geochemical interpretation of water analyses: Am. Geophys. Union, Trans., v. 25, p. 914-923.

Plummer, Norman, and Romary, J. F., 1942, Stratigraphy of the Pre-Greenhorn Cretaceous beds of Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 41, pt. 9, p. 313-348. [available online]

Plummer, Norman, and Romary, J. F., 1947, Kansas clay, Dakota Formation: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 67, 241 p.

Rubey, W. W., and Bass, N. W., 1925, The geology of Russell County, Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 10, pt. 1, p. 1-86.

Stramel, G. J., Lane, C. W., and Hodson, W. G., 1958, Geology and ground-water hydrology of the Ingalls area, Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 132, 154 p.

Swineford, Ada, 1955, Petrography of Upper Permian rocks in south-central Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 111, 179 p. [available online]

Swineford, Ada, Leonard, A. B., and Frye, J. C., 1958, Petrology of the Pliocene pisolitic limestone in the Great Plains: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 130, pt. 2, p. 97-116. [available online]

Swineford, Ada, and Williams, H. L., 1945, The Cheyenne Sandstone and adjacent formations of a part of Russell County, Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 60, pt. 4, p. 101-168. [available online]

U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1971, 1970 Census of population--Number of inhabitants, Kansas: Final report PC(1)-A18 Kansas, 45 p.

U.S. Bureau of Mines, 1971, The Mineral industry of Kansas in Minerals yearbook, 1969: U.S. Bureau of Mines, v. III, p. 307-324.

U.S. Geological Survey, 1962, Surface water supply of the United States, 1960, pt. 7. Lower Mississippi River basin: U.S. Geol. Survey, Water-Supply Paper 1711, 594 p. [available online]

U.S. Geological Survey, 1969, Surface water supply of the United States, 1961-65, pt. 7. Lower Mississippi River basin, v. 2. Arkansas River basin: U.S. Geol. Survey Water-Supply, Paper 1921, 878 p. [available online]

U.S. Geological Survey, 1967-72, issued annually, Water resources data for Kansas, pt. 1, Surface water records, 1966-71: Lawrence, Kans., Water Resources Div.

U.S. Public Health Service, 1962, Drinking water standards, 1962: U.S. Public Health Service, Pub. 956, 61 p.

U.S. Salinity Laboratory Staff, 1954, Diagnosis and improvement of saline and alkali soils: U.S. Dept. Agriculture, Handb. 60, 160 p.

U.S. Weather Bureau: Climatological data, Kansas section.

Zeller, D. E., ed., 1968, The stratigraphic succession in Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 189, 81 p. [available online]


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Kansas Geological Survey, Geology
Placed on web Aug. 22, 2008; originally published July 1973.
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