State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2007DE97B
Title: Hydrogeologic Characterization of the Potomac Aquifer, Delaware
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2007
End Date: 2/28/2008
Congressional District: At Large
Focus Categories: Water Supply, Water Quality, Toxic Substances
Keywords: Aquifer volume and connectivity, groundwater contaminant pathways
Principal Investigators: McGeary, Susan; McLaughlin, Peter
Federal Funds: $ 21,406
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 42,812
Abstract: The Potomac Formation of northern Delaware is one of Delaware's most important natural resources. The Potomac Formation encompasses the second most used aquifer in Delaware and the most important confined aquifer, providing nearly 20% of the groundwater used each year in the state. The purpose of this study is to conduct a multidisciplinary analysis of the geologic framework of these aquifers in the area of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. This study will delineate the distribution and extent of aquifer sands, and thereby help to better understand aquifer connectivity and fluid flow pathways. The methodology will employ a novel combination of tools, combining seismic reflection imaging of subsurface geology with analysis of wireline geophysical data from boreholes, collection of core data from the subsurface geologic units, and application of the concepts of sequence stratigraphy. The resulting geologic framework will be tested against hydrological data and observations from the Potomac aquifer. The resulting understanding of aquifer architecture will have significant application to issues in water supply, notably a framework of aquifer volume and connectivity for water-use allocations, and in water quality, particularly the identification of ground-water contaminant pathways below industrial sites in the Delaware City area.

Progress/Completion Report, 2007 PDF

Progress/Completion Report, 2008 update PDF

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