Integration of Geothermal Data Along the Balcones/Ouachita Trend, Central Texas

Abstract

This report, a summary of several years of effort in delineating and assaying geothermal resources in Central Texas (see Appendix A), was funded by Department of Energy Contract No. DE-AS07-79ID12057. It refines themes presented by Woodruff and McBride (1979). The initial report recognized thermal waters obtained from several Cretaceous aquifers along the Balcones/Ouachita trend, extending from Val Verde County on the Mexican border to the Oklahoma boundary from Cooke County, and east to Bowie County. It identified four major geologic units producing thermal waters: the Hosston/Trinity, Paluxy, Edwards, and Woodbine aquifers, but lacked specific controls and complete geological and hydrological depictions.

Subsequent studies defined geographic and thematic data, focusing on water temperature, quality, and lithic attributes. Methods were detailed by Woodruff and others (1982a), with data compiled into an encyclopedia along with digitized well locations. The statewide compilation became the nucleus for the GEOTHERM data file submitted to the U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA, in August 1983.

While most research efforts had a statewide scope, one section elucidated hydrologic factors along the Balcones/Ouachita trend. An appendix (Woodruff and others, 1982b) focused on areas of interest to the U.S. Air Force (USAF), leading to feasibility studies and drilling on Lackland Air Force Base, providing warm water for space heating and other facilities. Further refinements along parts of the trend were presented by Woodruff and others (1982c), examining hydrodynamics' role in geothermal gradient anomalies, lineaments, and the localization of thermal waters. The report also detailed geothermal resource status in Dallas County.

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