Capitan Reef Complex Aquiferinteractive map | cross-section

Summary

The Capitan Reef Complex Aquifer is a minor aquifer located in Culberson, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Brewster, Pecos, Reeves, Ward, and Winkler counties. It is exposed in mountain ranges of Far West Texas; elsewhere it occurs in the subsurface. The aquifer is composed of as much as 2,360 feet of massive, cavernous dolomite and limestone. Water-bearing formations include the Capitan Limestone, Goat Seep Dolomite, and most of the Carlsbad facies of the Artesia Group, including the Grayburg, Queen, Seven Rivers, Yates, and Tansill formations. Water is contained in solution cavities and fractures that are unevenly distributed within these formations. Water from the Capitan Reef Complex Aquifer is thought to contribute to the base flow of San Solomon Springs in Reeves County.

Overall, the aquifer contains water of marginal quality, yielding small to large quantities of slightly saline to saline groundwater containing 1,000 to greater than 5,000 milligrams per liter of total dissolved solids. Water of the freshest quality, with total dissolved solids between 300 and 1,000 milligrams per liter, is present in the west near areas of recharge where the reef rock is exposed in several mountain ranges.

Although most of the groundwater pumped from the aquifer in Texas is used for oil reservoir flooding in Ward and Winkler counties, a small amount is used to irrigate salt-tolerant crops in Pecos, Culberson, and Hudspeth counties. Over the last 70 years, water levels have declined in some areas as a result of localized production.

Reports

ID Date Type Description
R-317 1/1/1990 TWDB numbered report Evaluation of Ground-Water Resources in Parts of Loving, Pecos, Reeves, Ward and Winkler Counties, Texas
GMA4_DFC_01 8/13/2010 DFC submission Desired future conditions for the Bone Spring-Victorio Peak, Capitan Reef Complex, Edwards-Trinity (Plateau), Igneous, Marathon, Presidio-Redford Bolson, Rustler, Upper Salt Basin, and West Texas Bolsons aquifers
GMA3_DFC_01 8/9/2010 DFC submission Desired future conditions for the Capitan Reef Complex, Dockum, Edwards-Trinity (Plateau), Pecos Valley, and Rustler aquifers
GMA7_DFC_01 7/29/2010 DFC submission Desired future conditions for the Capitan Reef Complex, Dockum, Edwards-Trinity (Plateau), Ellenburger-San Saba, Hickory, Lipan, Marble Falls, Ogallala, and Rustler aquifers
HA-08 1/1/1997 Hydrologic atlas Water Quality in the Capitan Reef Aquifer
R-356 12/1/2001 TWDB numbered report Aquifers of West Texas
AA06-01 6/10/2008 Aquifer assessment Water-level decline scenarios for the Capitan Reef Complex, Marathon, Rustler, Presidio-Redford Bolson, Edwards-Trinity (Plateau), and Diablo Plateau aquifers in Groundwater Management Area 4
AA09-08 9/21/2010 Aquifer assessment Desired future condition scenarios for the Capitan Reef Complex Aquifer in Groundwater Management Area 4
AA10-36_MAG 11/3/2011 Aquifer assessment MAG Modeled available groundwater for the Capitan Reef Complex Aquifer in Groundwater Management Area 3
AA10-21_MAG 8/23/2011 Aquifer assessment MAG Managed available groundwater for the Capitan Reef Complex Aquifer in Groundwater Management Area 4
AA10-09_MAG 11/18/2011 Aquifer assessment MAG Modeled available groundwater for the Capitan Reef Complex Aquifer in Groundwater Management Area 7
R-380 7/1/2011 TWDB numbered report Aquifers of Texas
CR-0804830794 9/1/2009 Contract report Capitan Reef Complex Structure and Statigraphy
GT13-027_TERS 9/19/2013 GAM task - Total Estimated Recoverable Storage Total Estimated Recoverable Storage for aquifers in Groundwater Management Area 3
GT13-030_TERS 10/2/2013 GAM task - Total Estimated Recoverable Storage Total Estimated Recoverable Storage for aquifers in Groundwater Management Area 7
GT13-028_TERS 1/15/2014 GAM task - Total Estimated Recoverable Storage Total Estimated Recoverable Storage for aquifers in Groundwater Management Area 4
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