This digital product contains gridded estimates of water-table (wt) elevation and depth to water (dtw) under dry, normal, and wet conditions for Kent County, Delaware. Files containing the point data used to create the grids are also included. This work is the final component of a larger effort to provide estimates of water-table elevations and depths to water for the Coastal Plain portion of Delaware. Mapping was supported by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the Delaware Geological Survey.
These grids were produced with the same multiple linear regression (MLR) method as Andres and Martin (2005). Briefly, this method consists of: identifying dry, normal, and wet periods from long-term observation well data (Hb14-01, Jd42-03, Mc51-01, Md22-01); estimating a minimum water table (Sepulveda, 2002) by fitting a localized polynomial surface to elevations of surface water features (e.g., streams, swamps, and marshes); and, computing a second variable in the regression from water levels observed in wells. A separate MLR equation was determined for dry, normal, and wet periods and these equations were used in ArcMap v.9 (ESRI, 2004) to estimate grids of water-table elevations and depths to water. Kent County was divided into three regions (south, central, north). A minimum water-table surface was calculated for each of these areas and were merged together to create a single minimum water-table surface for the entire county. This grid was filtered and smoothed to eliminate edge effects that occurred at the boundaries between each of the three regions. Water-table elevation and depth to water grids for dry, normal, and wet conditions were then calculated for the county as a whole.
This digital product contains gridded estimates of water-table (wt) elevation and depth to water (dtw) under dry, normal, and wet conditions for Sussex County, Delaware. Files containing the point data used to create the grids are also included. This work is the final component of a larger effort to provide estimates of water-table elevations and depths to water for the Coastal Plain portion of Delaware. Mapping was supported by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the Delaware Geological Survey.
These grids were produced with the same multiple linear regression (MLR) method as Andres and Martin (2005). Briefly, this method consists of: identifying dry, normal, and wet periods from long-term observation well data (Nc45-01, Ng11-01, Qe44-01); estimating a minimum water table (Sepulveda, 2002) by fitting a localized polynomial surface to elevations of surface water features (e.g., streams, swamps, and marshes); and computing a second variable in the regression from water levels observed in wells. A separate MLR equation was determined for dry, normal, and wet periods, and these equations were used in ArcMap v.9 (ESRI, 2004) to estimate grids of water-table elevations and depths to water. Grids produced in this project were merged with those previously completed for eastern Sussex and smoothed to minimize edge effects.
The Nanticoke Watershed Water-Quality Database (NWWWQDB) is used to
store, manage, and retrieve water-quality data generated by the “Nanticoke River
Watershed” project. The database contains information on sampling stations, samples,
and field and laboratory analyses, queries to extract and analyze data, forms to input and
edit data, a main menu to navigate to forms and specific queries, and a few formatted
report templates. The database is in Microsoft Access 2003 format. Table, field, and table
relationship metadata are stored in the database as properties of those objects. The
software's metadata reporting options can be used to view the information.
Delaware Inland Bays Tributary Total Maximum Daily Load Water-Quality Database (Data Product No. 02-02)
The Delaware Inland Bays Water-Quality Database (DIBWQDB) is used to store,
manage, and retrieve water-quality data generated by the “Nutrient Inputs as a Stressor
and Net Nutrient Flux as an Indicator of Stress Response in Delawares’ Inland Bays
Ecosystem” (CISNet) and the “Inland Bays Tributary Total Maximum Daily Load”
(IBTMDL) projects. It contains information on sampling stations, samples, and field and
laboratory analyses, queries to extract and analyze data, forms to input and edit data, a
main menu to navigate to forms and specific queries, and a few formatted report
templates. The database is in Microsoft Access 2003 format. Table, field, and table
relationship metadata are stored in the database as properties of those objects. The
software's metadata reporting options can be used to view the information.
Recent and Historical Groundwater Level Data. Data accessible on this page are a subset of DGS holdings. Click on the chart link to display a hydrograph or the data link to download all observations for the period of record.
Thousands of homeowners in Delaware currently rely on individual wells and water systems to provide water. In addition, hundreds of new wells and systems are constructed each year to provide water for those not served by public water systems. Methods used to construct water wells in Delaware are discussed in DGS Information Series No. 2 (Domestic Water Well
Construction). Domestic water systems are described herein.
Because of its "renewability" water is unique among earth resources that sustain and enhance life. No other mineral resource that we extract on a long-term and continuous basis can be counted on for at least some degree of replenishment within a human lifetime. This attribute allows a great deal of flexibility in management of the resource. In Delaware local rainfall, approximately 40" to 44" per year, renews part or all of our water supply on a regular basis. However, not all of the rain that falls is available for use. From this total rainfall must be subtracted the water that evaporates (about 20"/ year), the amount that is used by plants (about 3"/year), and the amount that runs overland to surface streams during storms (about 4"-5"/year). The remainder, approximately 13" to 15" is Delaware's bank of water for the year. This water is stored in a system of ground-water reservoirs, or aquifers, that underlie most of the State. Not only do these ground-water reservoirs provide water to wells but they also maintain the flow in surface streams during times of no rainfall. Streamflow between rainfall events is nothing more than the discharge of
excess ground water.
The storage and movement of ground water depends on the types of rocks and associated
interconnected spaces in which the water occurs. The Piedmont Province in northernmost
Delaware is underlain by crystalline rocks. Because of the massiveness and hardness of such
rocks, they yield little or no interstitial water to wells. Water is stored in and moves through fractures, cracks, and solution cavities. The amount of water available depends on the number and size of openings, and the degree to which they are interconnected. Wells drilled in the Piedmont range from 100 to 400 feet in depth and yields are highly variable over very short distances.
In the Coastal Plain, the rest of the State, ground water is stored and transmitted in spaces between adjacent rock particles. As much as 30 percent of the rock mass may be saturated. Unconsolidated rocks are analogous to a bathtub filled with sand into which water is poured. The Coastal Plain consists of sandy water-bearing units referred to as aquifers interlayered between non-water-bearing units. Wells constructed for domestic use range in depth from 15 feet to 500 feet. Yields are generally much greater than those obtained from the crystalline rocks of the Piedmont. In general, minimum well yields of 3 to 5 gallons per minute are adequate for most domestic water supply systems.
Thickness, Elevation of the Base, and Transmissivity Grids of the Unconfined Aquifer of Sussex County (Data Product No. 06-01)
The unconfined portion of the Columbia aquifer is a key hydrologic unit in Delaware, supplying water to many agricultural, domestic, industrial, public, and irrigation wells. The aquifer is recharged through infiltration of precipitation and is the source of fair-weather stream flow and water in deeper confined aquifers. The aquifer occurs in permeable sediments ranging in age from Miocene to Recent. Over most of Delaware, the top of the unconfined or water-table portion of the Columbia aquifer occurs at depths less than 10 feet below land surface. Because of the permeable character of the aquifer and its near-surface location, the unconfined aquifer is highly susceptible to contamination.
In the same ways as our printed publications, digital data released by the DGS represent the results of original professional research and as such are used by professionals and the public.
Ground-water recharge potential maps show land areas characterized by their abilities to transmit water from land surface to a depth of 20 feet. The basic methods for mapping ground-water recharge potential are presented in Delaware Geological Survey Open File Report No. 34 (Andres, 1991) and were developed specifically for the geohydrologic conditions present in the Coastal Plain of Delaware. The digital data for this layer comes from DGS Digital Data Product DP 02-01, Digital Ground-Water Recharge Potential Map Data For Kent and Sussex Counties, Delaware: A. S. Andres, C. S. Howard, T. A. Keyser, L. T. Wang, 2002.
RI74 Locating Ground-Water Discharge Areas in Rehoboth and Indian River Bays and Indian River, Delaware Using Landsat 7 Imagery
Delaware’s Inland Bays in southeastern Sussex County are valuable natural resources that have been experiencing environmental degradation since the late 1960s. Stresses on the water resource include land use practices, modifications of surface drainage, ground-water pumping, and wastewater disposal. One of the primary environmental problems in the Inland Bays is nutrient over-enrichment. Nitrogen and phosphorous loads are delivered to the bays by ground water, surface water, and air. Nitrogen loading from ground-water discharge is one of the most difficult to quantify; therefore, locating these discharge areas is a critical step toward mitigating this load to the bays. Landsat 7 imagery was used to identify ground-water discharge areas in Indian River and Rehoboth and Indian River bays in Sussex County, Delaware. Panchromatic, near-infrared, and thermal bands were used to identify ice patterns and temperature differences in the surface water, which are indicative of ground-water discharge. Defining a shoreline specific to each image was critical in order to eliminate areas of the bays that were not representative of open water. Atmospheric correction was not necessary due to low humidity conditions during image acquisition. Ground-water discharge locations were identified on the north shore of Rehoboth Bay (west of the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal), Herring and Guinea creeks, the north shore of Indian River, and the north shore of Indian River Bay near Oak Orchard.
A geographic information system-based study was used to estimate the elevation of the water table in the Inland Bays watershed of Sussex County, Delaware, under dry, normal, and wet conditions. Evaluation of the results from multiple estimation methods indicates that a multiple linear regression method is the most viable tool to estimate the elevation of the regional water table for the Coastal Plain of Delaware. The variables used in the regression are elevation of a minimum water table and depth to the minimum water table from land surface. Minimum water table is computed from a local polynomial regression of elevations of surface water features. Correlation coefficients from the multiple linear regression estimation account for more than 90 percent of the variability observed in ground-water level data. The estimated water table is output as a GIS-ready grid with 30-m (98.43 ft) horizontal and 0.305-m (1 ft) vertical resolutions.
Ground-water recharge potential maps support decision-making and policy development in land use, water-resources management, wastewater disposal systems development, and environmental permitting in state, county, and local governments. Recently enacted state law requires that counties and towns with more than 2,000 residents provide protection to areas with excellent recharge potential in comprehensive land use plans. Approximately 14 percent of Kent County and 8 percent of Sussex County have areas with excellent recharge potential. Ground-water recharge potential maps show land areas characterized by the water-transmitting capabilities of the first 20 feet below land surface. Ground-water recharge potential mapping in Kent and Sussex counties was done using geologic mapping techniques and over 6,000 subsurface observations in test borings, wells, borrow pits, natural exposures, and ditches. Hydraulic testing of more than 200 wells shows that the four recharge potential categories (excellent, good, fair, poor) can be used as predictors of the relative amounts and rates at which recharge will occur. Numerical modeling shows that recharge rates in areas with excellent recharge potential can be two to three times greater than rates in fair and poor recharge areas. Because of the association of recharge potential map categories with hydraulic properties, map categories are indicators of how fast contaminants will move and how much water may become contaminated. Numerical modeling of contaminant transport under different recharge potential conditions predicts that greater masses of contaminants move more quickly and affect greater volumes of water under higher recharge potential conditions than under lower recharge potential conditions. This information can be used to help prioritize and classify sites for appropriate remedial action.
The Cypress Swamp Formation is the surficial geologic unit in south-central Sussex County, Delaware. Detailed hydrologic observations made as part of four separate studies between 1995 and 1999 show that the Cypress Swamp Formation consists of a complex assemblage of moderately permeable sands and low permeability organic and inorganic silts and clays that form a heterogeneous shallow subsurface hydrologic system that is between about 5 and 15 feet thick. Aquifer tests show that hydraulic conductivity ranges between 0.55 and 40 ft/day, with an arithmetic mean of 13 feet/day.
The Cypress Swamp of Sussex County, Delaware, is underlain by a body of late Pleistocene- to Holocene-age unconsolidated sediments. They form a mappable geologic unit herein named the Cypress Swamp Formation. Deposits of the formation can be found outside the current boundaries of the Cypress Swamp and record the erosion and redistribution of older Pleistocene coastal and Pliocene sedimentary units.
RI61 The Occurrence and Distribution of Several Agricultural Pesticides in Delaware’s Shallow Ground Water
In June 1996, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) proposed a regulation to require individual states to develop Pesticide Management Plans (PMPs) to protect their ground-water resources from pesticide contamination. The USEPA designated the predominantly agricultural pesticides atrazine, alachlor, cyanazine, metolachlor, and simazine as the first five that would require a PMP.
Water samples were collected from 63 wells in southern New Castle County to assess the occurrence and distribution of dissolved inorganic chemicals in ground water. Rapid growth is projected for the study area, and suitable sources of potable drinking water will need to be developed. The growth in the study area could also result in degradation of water quality. This report documents water quality during 1991-92 and provides evidence for the major geochemical processes that control the water quality.