Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Karst development in Ellenburger carbonates near Colorado Bend State Park in central Texas exhibits complex polygenetic origins, with porosity development dominated by an early hypogene phase that has subsequently been overprinted to varying degrees by epigene processes. Quarterly physicochemical and continuous thermal monitoring analyses of eight springs in the study area indicate that modern groundwater flow paths are highly variable. Springs exhibit patterns that range from shallow, distributed recharge into diffuse-flow dominated systems, to focused recharge into well-connected conduit systems, to deep-circulation systems that equilibrate with bedrock. All springs, except Sulphur Spring, exhibit physicochemical characteristics indicative of proximal epigenic groundwater flow through Ellenburger carbonates, while Sulphur Spring shows elevated temperature and dissolved-ion concentrations indicative of longer groundwater flow paths through deeper strata. The polygenetic nature of karst development in the Colorado Bend State Park has created an enhanced porosity structure which forms a complex modern groundwater flow network.


Stafford, K.W., Shaw, M.G., and De Leon, J.L., 2011. Spring hydrology of Colorado Bend State Park, central Texas. U.S. Geological Survey Karst Interest Group Proceedings, Fayetteville Arkansas, April 26-29, 2011, Scientific Investigations Report 2011-5031, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, p. 152-159.

Included in

Geology Commons



Tell us how this article helped you.