USGS - science for a changing world

USGS Groundwater Information

*  Home *  Data & Information *  Publications *  Methods & Modeling *  Selected Topics *  Programs *  Contact Us
Link_home

Aquifer by rock type

Link_National Atlas

Aquifers on National Atlas Map Browser

Aquifers' Data
and Description

Aquifer Wall Map


USGS links

Water Resources

Groundwater Information


Site links

list of aquifers

Home

Other rocks (minor aquifer, not a principal aquifer, or confining unit)

Photo
Granitic igneous rocks form a large part of the bedrock surface from Connecticut north and in New York's' Adirondack Mountains.

Rocks identified as "other" include large-to-small areas that are designated "minor aquifer," "not a principal aquifer," or "confining unit" in the Principal Aquifers map document source, "Ground Water Atlas of the United States". Such areas are underlain by low-permeability deposits and rocks, unsaturated materials, or aquifers that supply little water because they are of local extent, poorly permeable, or both. Permeability is the relative ease with which water will move through a rock unit; aquifers are more permeable than confining units. Rocks and deposits with minimal permeability, which are not considered to be aquifers, consist of intrusive igneous rocks, metamorphic rocks, shale, siltstone, evaporite deposits, silt, and clay.

Links to diagrams of local bedrock aquifers and minor aquifers.

Large areas of the eastern, northeastern, and north-central parts of the Nation are underlain by crystalline rock. These igneous and metamorphic rocks are permeable only where they are fractured, and they generally yield only small amounts of water to wells. However, because these rocks extend over large areas, large volumes of groundwater are withdrawn from them, and in many places they are the only reliable source of water supply. Because the crystalline rocks have minimal permeability, they are not mapped as principal aquifers, but they are mapped as other rocks.

Surficial stream valley aquifers or buried principal aquifers are also sometimes in some places categorized as "other". Local stream-valley alluvial aquifers south of the line of continental glaciation that yield small-to-large amounts of water are in the valleys of many major streams that cross principal aquifers, but the stream-valley aquifers are not mapped consistently between states. Important unconsolidated sand and gravel aquifers are discussed by Ground Water Atlas chapter or are grouped as sand and gravel aquifers of alluvial and glacial origin. Many of the principal aquifers are overlain by confining units, and they extend into the subsurface beyond the uppermost extent areas shown on the map.

OTHER ROCKS

Map of other aquifers and limit of glaciation
glacial areas Other rocks - Minor aquifer, not a principal aquifer, or confining unit

Publication source

Sand and gravel aquifers of alluvial and glacial origin Minor aquifers

USGS Home Water Climate and Land Use Change Core Science Systems Ecosystems Energy and Minerals Environmental Health Natural Hazards

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://water.usgs.gov/ogw/aquiferbasics/other_rocks.html
Page Contact Information: Contact the USGS Office of Groundwater
Page Last Modified: Tuesday, 21-Jan-2014 16:37:39 EST