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Deep lignite resources (200-2,000 ft; 61-610 m) were evaluated regionally using 1,470 geophysical well logs to interpret lithofacies, lignite occurrence, and resistivity (water quality). The regional distribution of lithofacies indicates that in the region, the Wilcox Group is a fluvial-deltaic system. The primary fluvial system entered the Wilcox coastal plain west of Waco, Texas, trended southeast, and supplied a 75-mi (120-km) wide fluvial-deltaic system comparable in size to the Mississippi system.
Lignites are most abundant in the Calvert Bluff Formation (upper Wilcox). Lower Calvert Bluff lignites are thickest and most extensive southwest of the Navasota River, whereas those of the upper Calvert Bluff are thickest northeast of the Brazos River. In the shallow subsurface, Calvert Bluff lignites are found in dip-elongate low-sand areas (flood plains) between channel-sand belts. Basinward, laterally continuous lignites coincide with high net sand areas comprised of distributary channel sands indicative of a delta-plain setting.
The Wilcox Group is a major aquifer. Maps of resistivity values show that Wilcox channel sands are conduits for ground-water flow. High values of formation resistivity (low total dissolved solids) exist in recharge areas at outcrop and around salt domes. Elongate trends of high resistivity values extend tens of miles basinward and coincide with axes of major sands. Resistivity values decrease basinward and the 20 ohm-m contour delineates the downdip limit of fresh water.
Lithofacies and lignite occurrence maps are guides to exploration for deep lignite. Resistivity maps can be used to explore for ground-water resources.
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