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Bibliography of the Regional Aquifer-System Analysis (RASA) Program of the U.S. Geological Survey, 1978-96

U.S. Geological Survey
Water-Resources Investigation Report 97-4074
By Ren Jen Sun, John B. Weeks, and Hayes F. Grubb


Note: The searchable online bibliography is no longer available. For historical reference, you can download a copy of the bibliography:

Please note that the RASA bibliography is for RASA publications from 1978 to 1996. Information on current USGS regional groundwater studies is available. For all USGS groundwater publications, please visit the USGS Publications Warehouse.


The Regional Aquifer-System Analysis (RASA) Program of the U.S. Geological Survey was initiated in 1978 and was completed in 1995. The purpose of this program was to define the regional geohydrology and establish a framework of background information on geology, hydrology, and geochemistry of the Nation's important aquifer systems. This information is critically needed to develop an understanding of the Nation's major ground-water flow systems and to support better management of ground-water resources.

Twenty-five of the Nation's major aquifer systems were studied under this program. Starting in 1988, the program devoted part of its resources to compilation of a National Ground Water Atlas that presets a comprehensive summary of the Nation's major ground-water resources. The atlas, which is designed in a graphical format supported by descriptive text, serves as a basic reference for the location, geography, geology, and hydrologic characteristics of the major aquifers in the Nation.

This bibliography lists 1,105 reports that result from various studies of the program. The list of reports for each study follows a brief description of that study.


The U.S. Geological Survey initiated the Regional Aquifer-System Analysis (RASA) Program in 1978 in response to Federal and State needs for information to improve management of the Nation's ground-water resources. The objective of the RASA Program is to define the regional geohydrology and establish a framework of background information--geologic, hydrologic, and geochemical--that can be used for regional assessment of ground-water resources and in support of detailed local studies. The program was completed in 1995.

A total of 25 aquifer systems were studied under the RASA Program (fig. 1). Studies of three other aquifer systems--the Pecos River Basin in New Mexico and Texas; the Alluvial Basins in Oregon, California, and Nevada; and the Illinois Basin in Illinois--were not started due to changes in national priorities, such as the emphasis on ground-water and surface-water relations and the hydrogeology of critical aquifers. This report provides synopses of these 25 regional aquifer systems and lists reports resulting from studies of each of these systems.

Regional Aquifer Study Areas

USGS RASA Program Study Area Aquifer Map

Regional Aquifer Study Areas

  • 1 Northern Great Plains
  • 2 High Plains
  • 3 Central Valley, California
  • 4 Northern Midwest
  • 5a, 5b Southwest Alluvial Basins
  • 6 Floridan
  • 7 Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain
  • 8 Southeastern Coastal Plain
  • 9 Snake River Plain
  • 10 Central Midwest
  • 11 Gulf Coastal Plains
  • 12 Great Basin
  • 13 Northeast Glacial Aquifers
  • 14 Upper Colorado River Basin
  • 15 Oahu, Hawaii
  • 16 Caribbean Islands
  • 17 Columbia Plateau
  • 18 San Juan Basin
  • 19 Michigan Basin
  • 20 Edwards-Trinity
  • 21 Midwestern Basins and Arches
  • 22 Appalachian Valleys and Piedmont
  • 23 Puget-Willamette Lowland
  • 24 Southern California Alluvial Basins
  • 25 Northern Rocky Mountain Intermontane

Because of the critical need for a unified summary of ground-water information on a nationwide scale, a ground-water atlas of the United States was compiled. The atlas summarizes RASA study results and other reports of the U.S. Geological Survey, various States and local agencies, and articles published in scientific journals. The atlas project is discussed in the last section of this report.

The U.S. Geological Survey has a National Research Program (NRP) that conducts basic and problem-oriented research. Basic research explores the scientific processes that control the quantity and quality of the Nation's water resources. Problem-oriented research develops operational and interpretative methods useful for water-resources investigations inside and outside of the Survey. The RASA Program has benefited from both the basic and problem-oriented research conducted through NRP. Each year the RASA Program has contributed funds to the NRP. These funds were used for research in all phases of the hydrologic cycle, not just those directly related to the RASA Program. The purpose of that support was to build for the future by providing funds for continued research and development of theoretical and operational procedures for hydrologic investigations. Reports published by NRP that are directly related to the RASA Program studies are included in this bibliography.

Upon completion of each RASA study, a U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper or a series of Professional Papers are published to summarize and synthesize the results of that study. The Professional Papers associated with each RASA study have a unique number. Those with a series of chapters are designated by the study's unique number and a letter; the letter A commonly is reserved for the chapter that summarizes the major findings of the particular aquifer system. Professional Papers derived from the RASA Program are identified by a Professional Paper number between 1400 and 1425.

Scientific journal articles and symposium proceedings must be obtained from the journals or sponsoring organizations. The RASA Program has also produced many abstracts for presentations made at scientific meetings; these abstracts are not listed in this report.

This bibliography updates an earlier report (see report 8 in the list immediately below) by including the 876 references of the earlier work plus the additional 229 reports completed since. Some reports from the last few studies undertaken are currently (1996) in preparation.

The RASA Program produced 1,105 reports. Nine of these reports, listed below, explain and summarize the RASA Program. The other 1,096 reports are listed at the end of each section that briefly describes the study that produced the reports.

Bennett, G.D., 1979, Regional ground-water systems analysis: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Water Spectrum, v. 11, no. 4, p. 36-42.

Davidson, C.B., and Doherty, H.B., 1994, Aquifer descriptions from the U.S. Geological Survey Regional Aquifer-System Analysis Program, 1978-93: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 94-465, 22p.

Johnston, R. H., in press, Hydrologic budgets of regional aquifer systems of the United States--predevelopment and development conditions: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1425.

Johnston, R.H., 1997, Sources of water supplying pumpage from regional aquifer systems of the United States: International Association of Hydrology Journal of Hydrogeology.

Sun, R.J., ed., 1986, Regional Aquifer-System Analysis Program of the U.S. Geological Survey--summary of projects, 1978-84: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1002, 264 p. (out of print).

_____1989, Regional Aquifer-System Analysis Program, in Moore, J.E., Zaporozec, A.A., Csallany, S.C., and Varney, T.C., eds., Recent advances in ground-water hydrology: American Institute of Hydrology Conference, Nov.16-19, 1988, Tampa, Florida, p.78-88.

Sun, R.J., and Johnston, R.H., 1994, Regional Aquifer-Systems Analysis Program of the U.S. Geological Survey, 1978-92: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1099, 126 p.

Sun, R.J., and Weeks, J.B., 1991, Bibliography of Regional Aquifer-Systems Analysis Program of the U.S. Geological Survey, 1978-91: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 91-4122, 92 p.

Weeks, J.B., and Sun, R.J., 1987, Regional Aquifer-System Analysis Program of the U.S. Geological Survey--bibliography, 1978-86: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 87-4138, 81 p.



The authors thank the Regional Aquifer-System Analysis (RASA) Project Chiefs and their staffs, and the District Chiefs and their staffs who worked on the RASA studies and who reviewed a draft of this bibliography. Their assistance made the initial compilation of this report possible within a short period of time.

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