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Central Oklahoma (Garber-Wellington)

The Central Oklahoma (Garber-Wellington) aquifer underlies about 3,000 square miles of central Oklahoma and underlies all or parts of Cleveland, Logan, Lincoln, Oklahoma, Payne, and Pottawatomie Counties. Water from the Central Oklahoma aquifer is used for public, industrial, commercial, agricultural, and domestic supply. Average groundwater use from 1967 to 2008 was about 37,367 acre-feet/year with public-water supply consuming 23,367 acre-feet/year. Average estimated domestic groundwater use from the aquifer from 1980 to 2010 was about 13,752 acre-feet/year.

The Central Oklahoma aquifer consists of Quaternary age alluvium and terrace deposits and the Permian-age Garber Sandstone, Wellington Formation, and Chase, Council Grove, and Admire Groups. The Central Oklahoma aquifer is referred to locally as the Garber-Wellington aquifer because it is dominantly composed of the Permian-age Garber Sandstone and Wellington Formation.

The direction of horizontal regional groundwater flow can be inferred from potentiometric-surface maps of the Central Oklahoma aquifer. Groundwater flows along paths perpendicular to the potentiometric surface contour lines. Water levels measured in multiple wells across the Central Oklahoma aquifer in 1986–87 and 2009 were used to create the original and updated potentiometric surface maps. Flow in the Central Oklahoma aquifer is slowest in the confined part of the Garber Sandstone and Wellington Formation and in the less transmissive parts of the unconfined flow system, which includes part of the Chase, Council Grove, and Admire Groups. The saturated thickness of the Central Oklahoma aquifer in the eastern part of the aquifer in Lincoln and Pottawatomie counties is relatively thin, 200–300 feet, related to the thinner geologic units in that area that are caused by the dip of the formations and erosion. The thickest zone of saturation is about 1,000 feet located near the extent of the Hennessey Group confining unit. Average annual precipitation in the study area from 1893 to 2009 was 34.27 inches. Average annual recharge for the aquifer area for the 1987–2009 period was estimated to be 4.6 inches.

Aquifer hydraulic properties were estimated from lithologic and geophysical well logs and a multiple-well aquifer test was analyzed to determine transmissivity and a storage coefficient. Transmissivity determined from the aquifer well test was 220 square feet per day, with an estimated hydraulic conductivity of 2.4 feet per day. The analytical-model solution indicated that the Central Oklahoma aquifer was acting as a leaky confined aquifer. The storage coefficient from the analytical solution was 0.0013.

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