About The Spring

Big Spring sits in Southeast Dallas County Texas in the neighborhood of Pleasant Grove and the subsection of an area called Pemberton Hill, south of US 175 and west of Pemberton Hill Road Dallas, Texas 75217.

One of the only natural spring sites left in Dallas, Big Spring maintains a steady temperature and predictable flow year round with crystal clear and clean water. It discharges over twelve millions of clean water into the Trinity River watershed annually. With an average ph of 6.7, mineral rich and low dissolved oxygen content the water points to an aquifer not of modern origins. Carbon dating in 2013 resulted in a sample dating to 590 +/- 30 BP(1360 AD).

The outfall of Big Spring reaches a first-order stream named Bryan’s Slough (Oak Creek) which empties into White Rock Creek and eventually the Trinity River some one mile distant. At roughly 405 feet above sea level, the spring sits upon a slope that modern geology calls the Trinity Terrace. The Trinity Terrace is a series of orange and brown-yellow Pleistocene gravel deposits a top a layer of Austin Chalk, a cretaceous age limestone common to Dallas County. The Pleistocene is the geological epoch which lasted from about 2.5 million to 11,000 years ago, spanning the world’s recent period of repeated glaciations. Coupled with much wetter weather than today, the Trinity River was vastly larger, carrying large loads of sediment across a valley that extended from Fair Park on the north bank to the Dallas Zoo on the south.

It is believed that the porous Trinity Terrace gravels serve as the aquifer bearing strata from which Big Spring is supplied. This gravel also produces many fossils from the Pleistocene Megafauna with many museum quality specimens excavated on nearby properties.

4 thoughts on “About The Spring

  1. Ihave been very interested in the recent articles concerning Dallas’ Big Spring. My Grandfather, William D. Burch, purchased a parcel of land adjacent to the confluence of the Trinity River and White Rock in the late 1800s or early 1900s. I believe he bought this land with the idea that Dallas would one day become an inland port. The land was in the family until my Grandmother passed away and later sold to city of Dallas to be included the Great Trinty Forest area.

  2. The spring is located at the bottom of a terrace slope at 405 ft. asl (feet above sea level) discharging from the interface between cemented sand/gravel and Cretaceous (65 mya) age Austin Formation marine limestone.

    2nd para might read: “discharges over 12 million gallons.” Might add, a consistent vent water temperature of 65 +/- 2 F or (20 C) degrees over a period of 1.5 years of monitoring.

    We really do not know the origin and the age of the sands or gravels but they are most likely pre-Pleistocene equivalent in age
    (> 2.5 mya). Medium grain size (1 mm in size), subangular, milky white quartz rich sands conformably cover pockets of fine to coarse gravels (clasts flattened rounded up to 5 cm (2 in.) in size. The sands and gravels unconformably cover 86 mya marine Austin Formation limestones. When oxidized the sand matrix turns orange/red indicating an iron rich original environment such as the Woodbine Formation that outcrops up the West Fork and Elm Fork tributaries of the Trinity river. Numerous HCL solutions to disaggregate the conglomerate cemented gravels indicate they are cemented by calcium carbonate and chalcedonic microcrystalline silica most likely from the overlying sands percolating through the deposit and fluctuations in the water table in the phreatic zone. Preliminary analysis of the disaggregated gravel indicate clast composition of rose quartz, other quartzes, labradorite, reddish agate, quartzite, and other clasts to be identified indicate an igneous origin mostly likely from the west. The gravels could represent the eroded finer component of the coarser Ogallala reworked gravels (ca. 6 mya) that spread out across north Texas from the west considered to have an origin 20-30 mya in the Manzano mountains eastern frontal range in New Mexico. Composition of the gravels are similar to the perched gravel/cobble deposits along the Trinity river corridor at 480-525 ft asl, but most have been quarried out. Pleistocene megafauna has been recovered from the sand/gravel deposits along the river corridor as reported by Bob Slaughter (1966, J. of Paleontology 40, 1: 78-91) concentrated in the spring area as the “Moore Pit Local Fauna.”

  3. To whom it may concern:

    I run a lab at UT southwestern in Dallas and am interested in the biology of aquatic flatworms. I’m interested in collecting flatworms from sediment in an around the Big Spring. How would I go about doing this? My experiments will in no way harm the environment, they simply involve collecting a few quart sized samples of mud from a couple of different locations.

    I look forward to your reply!

    James J. Collins, Ph.D.

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