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The Balcones Escarpment : Preface to the Online Edition

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    This volume was prepared originally as a field-trip guidebook for the 1986 Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America, in San Antonio, Texas.  The post-meeting trip, entitled "Geological and Geomorphic History of the Edwards Limestone Aquifer and Surface Drainage System, South-Central Texas," was first run on 14 November 1986 with about 40 people attending. The trip was run again on 31 October 1987, as "Balcones Escarpment and the Edwards Aquifer," a post-meeting excursion for the 37th Annual Convention of the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies and Gulf Coast Section of SEPM, approximately 20 people attending. And the trip was run a third time on 23 April 1989, as a pre-meeting excursion for the 74th Annual Convention of The American Association of Petroleum Geologists; 21 people attended.

    The guidebook was privately published by Abbott and Woodruff and was printed by Comet Reproduction Service, Santa Fe Springs, California.  Because we perceived an ongoing interest in the subject, we stipulated that the guidebook be printed with high-quality binding  and materials,  and we invested in a sizable print run (550 copies).  Also, we donated copies of the book to libraries on college campuses in Texas where geology or geography is taught.  Although the out-of-pocket costs were considerable, this investment has been worthwhile, as indicated by continuing interest in this volume.  Now, more than a decade after the original trip, the book is officially "out of print."  But rather than allowing it to be unavailable to future researchers and other interested parties, Dennis Trombatore, of the Walter Geology Library at The University of Texas at Austin, has offered to electronically scan the document, save it in digital form, and make it available online, via the web page of the Walter Geology Library.

    The body of text within this volume was scanned from the original print version.  But to assist possible ongoing communications with authors of the various papers, we have included an appendix that (insofar as possible) updates the affiliations, mailing addresses, and e-mail addresses of authors.

    The print version of this book was under copyright protection.  Now, however, to facilitate continued dissemination of the information contained herein, we grant permission for free access and copying of this material using electronic and photocopying techniques.  Our only proviso is that any further dissemination of the information or ideas presented in the volume shall be duly acknowledged, as is done under standard ethical practices whenever any work of scientific literature is cited.  It is our hope that, with the burgeoning technology of the internet, this work will continue to be useful to people interested in the geology, water resources, and natural history of the Balcones Escarpment.


Two years after the publication of the print version of this guidebook, Keith Young retired from the Department of Geological Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. During his 40-year tenure--and to the present day--he has applied his expertise in Cretaceous stratigraphy and paleontology to the Balcones Escarpment region. Keith has long noted the intimate interconnections between geologic substrate and problems and potentials with human activities along this important borderland. Over the years he enthusiastically conveyed this knowledge to his students, and as part of his professorial duties, Keith directed 31 Masters' theses and 16 Ph.D. dissertations. This work with graduate research involved no fewer than seven of the contributors to this guidebook: He supervised both Masters' and Ph.D. research for Abbott and Grimshaw; he supervised Ph.D. research for Woodruff and Masters' research for Caran; and he served on the Ph.D. committees for Ellis, Kastning, and Rose.

We recognize Keith Young as a major guiding influence behind this publication, owing to his long-term professional interests in the geology and human use of land along the Balcones Escarpment, his dedication to undergraduate and graduate education at The University of Texas, his personal involvement with seven of the authors whose work appears here, and his contribution of a paper to this volume. We therefore dedicate the online version of this guidebook to Keith Young--professor, mentor, and friend.

C. M. Woodruff, Jr.
Austin, Texas

Patrick L. Abbott
San Diego, California

June 1999

Note: Keith Young passed away on August 20, 2004. A memorial may be found on p.79-80 of the 2005 Jackson School Newsletter. PDF.

Some notes on the transformation of this document

Part of the task of a research library is to preserve information of particular significance. The Walter Geology Library at The University of Texas at Austin has made a commitment to not only preserve but also transform geologic literature of importance to Texas and Texans, and we offer the online edition of this volume as a contribution to that work. We have a number of copies of this book in our library, and they are always checked out. Now the potential audience for this information will be expanded dramatically, which seems to me to be the true test of preservation.

There is considerable interaction between the land and the people of Central Texas: uneasy pressures of growing population, limitations of the land, waters, and habitats that require close and well-informed attention to the details and history of the region. This is particularly true today and for the near future, since so many recent Texans are unfamiliar with the special characteristics of their new home. We hope that this document and others like it that we are working to make available will help stimulate understanding and constructive solutions for our various communities, and give new life to the scholarship of the past.

This document could not have been made available without the dedicated efforts of Dan Mulvihill, Rosemary Barker, and Paivi Rentz, who took responsibility for the many, many hours of scanning, converting, formatting, and editing required to produce the finished work, all of which was accomplished in between their regular tasks and assignments. Thanks also to Jim McCulloch for his assistance, and to Chock Woodruff and Pat Abbott for their generous offer of the copyright permission to make the materials available to a wider audience.

Dennis R. Trombatore
Walter Geology Library
The University of Texas at Austin

June 1999


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