Big Bend Ranch State Park, located in Presidio and Brewster Counties of far west Texas, is characterized by a high density of springs, enabling small water-dependent ecosystems not normally associated with an arid desert environment to flourish. This study is an effort to inventory the known springs in the park and assess the health of the ecosystems they support and the impact of invasive flora and fauna as well as anthropogenic impact, and the impact of domesticated livestock that is a remnant of the parks ranching legacy. The identification of water bearing geologic units is used to isolate minor perched aquifers including members of the Fresno Formation and Chisos Group, and the Solitario Conglomerate, depending on location. Of these three formations, the Fresno Formation is determined to be the primary aquifer in the Bofecillos Highlands. Geochemical analyses of the spring waters and rock units allow the investigation of rock/water interactions to determine the processes that are taking place in the evolution of the water from precipitation, to the final chemistry at the spring exposures, and the secondary minerals that are present in the spring sediments. This can be explained by modeling mineral dissolution and precipitation, along with the environmental control of evaporation.
|Advisor:||Urbanczyk, Kevin M.|
|Commitee:||Measures, Elizabeth, Rohr, David|
|School:||Sul Ross State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Texas|
|Source:||MAI 81/2(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Hydrologic sciences, Geology, Geochemistry|
|Keywords:||PHREEQC, Springs, Texas|
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