This is a brief story about water and the ways in which the Delaware Geological Survey helps insure that you will always have a plentiful supply of this precious natural resource.
Additional sources of ground water have been located in the Piedmont Province as a result of a ground-water exploration program conducted by the Delaware Geological Survey at the University of Delaware in cooperation with the City of Newark. Drilling sites for relatively high-yielding wells were located through the use of geophysical investigations, air-photo interpretation, field mapping, and review of existing data.
The increasing population of the State of Delaware is placing severe strains on the quality of ground water in the water-table aquifer by disposing of septic-tank effluent in the soil. At the same time the water resources of this aquifer are being used in greater amounts. The permeable water-table aquifer, containing reserves of 331 million gallons per day, is very vulnerable to contamination by objectionable or toxic fluids and dissolved substances placed on or in the soil.
The results of an intensive ground-water study on University of Delaware lands in the Newark area revealed additional sources of available ground water. Geophysical techniques, air-photo interpretation, studies of existing data, field mapping, test drilling, and pump tests were used as the bases for guiding additional well development. The study, conducted by the Delaware Geological Survey, was a cooperative effort between the University of Delaware and the City of Newark in response to mutual water supply problems. A potential ground-water yield of about 500 gpm was discovered on the University Laird Tract in the Piedmont Province. Ground water available from other locations in the Coastal Plain portion of the study area may total about 175 gpm. However, careful well development and proper well spacing will be necessary to obtain optimum yields.
The need for locating additional sources of ground water for the Delaware Atlantic seashore, a predominantly recreation-oriented area, is indicated by an expanding population in the belt between Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., combined with increasing leisure time. Present water use in the shore area is approximately 4 million gallons per day and will reach 9.3 million gallons per day by the year 2000. A new geologic interpretation of the occurrence of deep aquifers in the Delaware Atlantic seashore area is presented. Recent data from deep wells has enabled the construction of a more accurate geologic framework upon which the hydrologic data are superimposed. Correlation of Miocene sands concludes that the Manokin aquifer lies at greater depths in southeastern Delaware than previously thought.
Information on ground-water quality in Delaware has become critical for three reasons: (1) increased water demand, (2) need for a better understanding of ground-water flow patterns, (3) need for a "base" against which future quality changes can be measured. Analyses of about 150 water quality samples from wells show that Delaware's fresh ground waters are suitable for most purposes. High iron content may occur, however, in wells tapping the Columbia and the Potomac formations. Overall, total dissolved solids in Delaware aquifers are relatively low except in the Cheswold and Frederica aquifers (Miocene), and possibly parts of the Piney Point Formation (Eocene).
This report discusses the occurrence of ground water in relation to certain problems in highway construction and maintenance. These problems are: the subdrainage of roads; quicksand; the arrest of soil creep in road cuts; the construction of lower and larger culverts necessitated by the farm-drainage program; the prevention of failure of bridge abutments and retaining walls; and the watercement ratio of sub-water-table concrete. Although the highway problems and suggested solutions are of general interest, they are considered with special reference to the State of Delaware, in relation to the geology of that State. The new technique of soil stabilization by electroosmosis is reviewed in the hope that it might find application here in road work and pile setting. Field application by the Germans and Russians is reviewed.
The ground-water recharge potential map of Sussex County, Delaware, is a compilation of 1:24,000-scale maps of the water-transmitting properties of sediments in the interval between land surface and 20 ft below land surface. Water-transmitting properties are a key factor in determining the amount of water that recharges Delaware’s aquifers and the susceptibility of aquifers used as sources of water supply to contamination from near-surface pollutant sources. The mapping methodology was developed by Andres (1991) for the geologic characteristics of the Atlantic Coastal Plain portion of Delaware. Mapping and methods development started in 1990 and the final maps were completed in 2002 (Andres et al., 2002). Additional information about the map and methodology and a list of cited references are presented on the reverse side. The mapping program was funded by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the Delaware Geological Survey.
The ground-water recharge potential map of Kent County, Delaware, is a compilation of 1:24,000-scale maps of the water-transmitting properties of sediments in the interval between land surface and 20 ft below land surface. Water-transmitting properties are a key factor in determining the amount of water that recharges Delaware’s aquifers and the susceptibility of aquifers used as sources of water supply to contamination from near-surface pollutant sources. The mapping methodology was developed by Andres (1991) for the geologic characteristics of the Atlantic Coastal Plain portion of Delaware. Mapping and methods development started in 1990 and the final maps were completed in 2002 (Andres et al., 2002). Additional information about the map and methodology and a list of cited references are presented on the reverse side. The mapping program was funded by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the Delaware Geological Survey.
Digital watershed and bay polygons for use in geographic information systems were created for Rehoboth Bay, Indian River, and Indian River Bay in southeastern Delaware. Polygons were created using a hierarchical classification scheme and a consistent, documented methodology that enables unambiguous calculations of watershed and bay surface areas within a geographic information system. The watershed boundaries were delineated on 1:24,000-scale topographic maps. The resultant polygons represent the entire watersheds for these water bodies, with four hierarchical levels based on surface area. Bay boundaries were delineated by adding attributes to existing polygons representing water and marsh in U.S. Geological Survey Digital Line Graphs of 1:24,000-scale topographic maps and by dissolving the boundaries between polygons with similar attributes. The hierarchy of bays incorporates three different definitions of the coastline: the boundary between open water and land, a simplified version of that boundary, and the upland-lowland boundary. The polygon layers are supplied in a geodatabase format.
This report deals with fluctuations in nine observation wells during the period 1960 - 1966. These wells are part of a state-wide ground-water monitoring network and are located in areas of little or no pumping. Eight of the wells respond to water-table conditions; the ninth well appears to reflect artesian conditions.
Although precipitation throughout Delaware was generally below average during the period covered by this report, annual average water levels declined very little in the wells reported on here. There is some evidence, however, for a lowering of water-table levels by three to four feet during the period 1960 - 1962.
A thick aquifer of Eocene age underlies the Dover area, Delaware at depths ranging from 250 to 400 feet below the land surface. The aquifer is about 250 feet thick beneath the Dover Air Force Base and is composed of fairly uniform medium to fine glauconitic quartz sand. The static water level in a test well at the base was 18 feet below the land surface, or 5.7 feet above sea level, on April 17, 1957. The yield of the test well was about 300 gpm (gallons per minute), and the specific capacity at the end of a 12-hour pumping period was 8.3 gpm per foot of drawdown.
The core of much DGS work culminates in the release of data and findings in official DGS publications, including Open File Reports, Reports of Investigations, Geologic Maps, Hydrologic Maps, and Bulletins.