Natural Resources Research

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 415–426 | Cite as

RETRACTED ARTICLE: The Ogallala Formation of the Great Plains in Central US and Its Containment of Life-Giving Water

  • Marios Sophocleous
  • Dan Merriam


The Ogallala Formation of Miocene/Pliocene age is present over a large area of the Great Plains in the central US. The formation is composed of mostly clastic material eroded and transported eastward from the Rocky Mountains by eastward flowing rivers and streams. It contains the life-giving water that supports the population and farming activities of this vast area. However, this precious water resource is fast being depleted. The geology and geologic history, groundwater recharge, irrigation development, and water law and management of the region are outlined so as to highlight the nature and extent of the water problems facing that region and point to a more sustainable path. Further strengthening local water management and coordination with state government as well as better interstate coordination of the High Plains states will help sustain this critical water resource for generations to come.


High Plains aquifer groundwater recharge irrigation development groundwater depletion groundwater management geology of the Ogallala Formation 



This work was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation under award 1039247. Two anonymous journal reviewers provided constructive review comments. Dustin Fross of the Kansas Geological Survey (KGS) compiled the data on irrigated areas from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. Mark Schoneweis of KGS improved all figures.


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Copyright information

© International Association for Mathematical Geology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kansas Geological SurveyUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA
  2. 2.University of KansasLawrenceUSA

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