B13 Geology, Hydrology, and Geophysics of Columbia Sediments in the Middletown-Odessa Area, Delaware
Columbia sediments in the Middletown-Odessa area are composed of boulders, gravels, sands, silts and clays. These sediments are exposed in four gravel pits where their structures and textures were studied. Subsurface geology was interpreted on the basis of the well-log data from 40 holes drilled in the area of study. Columbia sediments were laid upon a surface made up of the greensands of the Rancocas Formation (Paleocene – Eocene age). The contact between the Rancocas and Columbia Formations is an erosional unconformity.
In the Coastal Plain of Delaware, the non-marine Cretaceous sands and clays are separated from the Tertiary formations by a series of marine formations of Upper Cretaceous age. The sedimentary and hydrologic characteristics of these formations deserve detailed study because some of them are water-bearing beds. whereas others act as confining beds. A clear understanding of their relative age. and the presence or absence of unconformities is needed for proper correlation with formations found in wells throughout the State. as well as in Maryland and New Jersey.
B2 Geology and Ground-Water Resources of the Newark Area, Delaware with a Section on the Surface Water Resources
This report describes the geological and lithological conditions in the Newark area, and the occurrence, quantity, and quality of the available ground-water supply. Newark is located on the Fall Line, the boundary between the rolling hills of the Piedmont on the north and the gentle slopes of the Coastal Plain on the south. Because the Piedmont is underlain by dense crystalline rocks and their weathered clayey soils, which are of low water-bearing capacity in contrast to the more permeable silts and sands of the Coastal Plain, the exploration for ground water was confined to the Coastal Plain south and southeast of Newark.
Well and aquifer coefficients have been determined for a crystalline rock aquifer system that provides part of the water supply of the City of Newark, Delaware. Conventional analytical methods can be used to derive coefficients for crystalline rocks in the Newark area if the limitations of such methods are recognized and if the local hydrologic framework is known.
Field reconnaissance, geologic mapping, and photogeologic interpretations aided collectively in the identification of 30 potential high-yield well sites in the crystalline rocks of Delaware's western Piedmont. Fracture traces discernable on panchromatic and color infrared photography were identified in the study area. Well locations were selected on individual traces and on fracture trace intersections. Six test wells averaging 468.5 feet in depth were drilled at selected sites. Test analyses indicate that production wells at these sites would have a combined potential estimated at 1.0 to 1.1 million gallons per day of water. A thorough knowledge of the hydrogeologic framework is key to successful ground-water exploration and development. Subsurface fracturing is of prime importance in governing the water-yielding properties in the crystalline rocks. The surface traces of vertical or near-vertical zones of subsurface rock fracture were identified and used as an aid in high-capacity well siting.
Beaverdam Branch, the Nanticoke River, Sowbridge Branch, and Stockley Branch drain small basins in the Delaware Coastal Plain that are characterized by similar climate, topography, geology, and land use. Withdrawals of ground water and surface water are very small, there is little urbanization, and other man-made effects, which include minor regulation on Sowbridge Branch and construction of drainage ditches in the Nanticoke basin, probably have had minimal effect on the natural hydrologic regimen. These are virtually natural-flow streams, which, because of similar basin characteristics, have nearly identical rates of evapotranspiration and runoff. During the 10-year period, 1959-68, precipitation averaged 40-42 inches annually, runoff averaged 16-17 inches annually, and evapotranspiration averaged 23-25 inches annually.
Delaware’s oldest rocks are metamorphic crystalline rocks of the central Appalachian Piedmont Physiographic Province. Atlantic Coastal Plain sediments overlie the crystalline rocks of the Piedmont and range in thickness from a feather edge at the Fall Line to approximately 9,000 feet in the southeastern corner of Delaware. Sediments range in age from Early Cretaceous to Holocene.
This report provides a brief overview of the causes of earthquakes, how earthquakes are measured, and a glossary of earthquake terminology.
The Red Clay Creek Valley traverses geologic features that have long been recognized as important to science, industry, and history. The reader will note that within the text “Piedmont,” and “Atlantic Coastal Plain” are capitalized. This is because these are formal geologic provinces. The “Fall Line” or “fall zone” is also an important geologic area. The Fall Line is the contact where the hard crystalline rocks of the Piedmont dip under and disappear beneath the sediments of the Coastal Plain. The fall zone is a narrow zone that parallels the Fall Line where rapids and waterfalls are common. The landscape and rock types shown in northern Delaware are classical examples of the larger geologic features that dominate the geology of eastern North America.
Minerals are naturally occurring, inorganic substances with characteristic physical and chemical properties. Common examples found in Delaware are quartz (hard, glassy luster), mica (cellophane like pieces), and feldspar (waxy or pearly luster, cleavage). In nature minerals are usually found in mixtures with other minerals. A natural specimen containing several minerals is called "a rock." A common example is granite, which is a mixture of quartz, feldspar, mica, and usually other dark minerals. Fossils are any evidence, direct or indirect, of a pre-existing plant or animal in the rock record. The most popular area for collecting fossils in Delaware is the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal area.
The complex geologic framework of the Fall Zone in Delaware is primarily caused by diverse structural features present in the crystalline basement rocks that have exerted a considerable influence on the distribution of the overlying sediments of the Coastal Plain.
The feasibility of using geophysical techniques in determining the amount of overburden and the nature of the subsurface along a proposed highway was tested in the Piedmont area of Delaware. The area is underlain by crystalline rocks capped by varying amounts of unconsolidated material or regolith. Seismic refraction and surface resistivity methods were used at selected stations and the interpretations were later compared to results from test holes and to the material exposed in road cuts. In general, interpretation of the seismic refraction results compared quite well with test borings and with field observations made after construction was started. Resistivity data were inconclusive in themselves but provided some additional control points when correlated with seismic refraction data. With proper control, it is concluded that such techniques could be useful in the Piedmont of Delaware for highway planning.
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.