FT4: Stratigraphy, Hydrogeology of the Cow Creek/Trinity Aquifer System

Leaders: Charlie Kerans, Brian B. Hunt, and Kelly E. Hattori

Date: Saturday 10/30

See the Registration page for details on registration options


The Cow Creek Formation preserves an expansive molluscan-dominated strandplain system that abutted a long-lived rocky shoreline. This shoreline, now preserved in part by the Sycamore Conglomerate, onlaps underlying Paleozoic strata in association with the Llano Uplift. The architecture of the Cow Creek and associated formations within this area reflect a period of low-amplitude eustatic fluctuations during which local physical processes, such as wave energy and current directionality/intensity, were the most important contributors to shaping the geomorphology. Exposures of this formation now serve as excellent teaching tools to discuss Cretaceous greenhouse carbonate systems and to demonstrate how a classic shallow-water carbonate system has the potential to become a reservoir rock or an aquifer.

This field trip tours several spectacular Cow Creek outcrops in the Hill Country of central Texas, where we will explore characteristics such as facies architecture, diagenesis, and karst modification, and their impact on our use of these rocks today from both a petroleum geology and a hydrogeological perspective.

Note: You may sign up for this field trip individually, or paired (FT4 - Stratigraphy, Hydrogeology of the Cow Creek/Trinity Aquifer System + Core Workshop 3: Cow Creek Carbonates) for a discounted rate!


16 standard participants + 2 students max

$160 Standard / $70 Student


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