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Freshwater-Saltwater Interactions along the Atlantic Coast

A Regional Assessment of the Ground-Water Resources Program

Freshwater-Saltwater Home | Saltwater Intrusion | Ground-Water Flow and Discharge to Coastal Environments |
Products of the Assessment | Links to Related Resources

Ground Water in Freshwater-Saltwater Environments of the Atlantic Coast (Circular 1262)

Bibliography on the Occurrence and Intrusion of Saltwater in Aquifers along the Atlantic Coast of the United States:(Open-File Report 02-235)

Ground-Water Resources for the Future: Atlantic Coastal Zone (Fact Sheet 085-00)

About the Regional Assessment

Freshwater aquifers along the Atlantic coast of the United States are bounded at their seaward margins by saltwater. Ground-water withdrawals from these aquifers can cause lateral and vertical intrusion of surrounding saltwater, and incidences of saltwater intrusion have been documented throughout the eastern seaboard (figure 1). Withdrawals also can change the patterns of ground-water flow and discharge to coastal ecosystems, which may alter the nutrient budgets and salinity of coastal waterways and wetlands. Projected future growth in population along the coastal areas of the United States will likely increase stresses on coastal aquifers and ecosystems in the next century. As part of the Ground-Water Resources Program, the USGS is conducting an assessment of freshwater-saltwater interactions and issues along the Atlantic coast, focusing on saltwater intrusion into freshwater aquifers and ground-water discharge into coastal ecosystems.

Areas of saltwater intrusion along the Atlantic coast
Development of ground-water resources along the Atlantic coast has caused saltwater to intrude many highly productive freshwater aquifers.

Selected areas along the Atlantic coast where saltwater has intruded freshwater aquifers are shown in the figure. Projected future growth in population along the coastal areas of the United States will likely increase stresses on coastal aquifers and on the ecosystems that depend upon freshwater discharges from these aquifers.

For more Information, Contact
Paul Barlow, Coordinator
Atlantic Coastal Zone Assessment
U.S. Geological Survey
10 Bearfoot Road
Northborough, MA 01532
(508) 490-5070

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