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DGS Annual Report

DGS Annual Report of Programs and Activities.

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Site content related to keyword: "surface water"

Coastal flood workshop - UD, organizations collaborate to improve Mid-Atlantic coastal resiliency

Sea-level rise, dissipating dunes and susceptibility to storm surges are a few of the factors that contribute to a vulnerable coast. A coast at risk means an increased potential for damage to coastal communities and ecosystems in the event of tropical systems, nor'easters or other damaging weather.

More than 40 experts representing state and federal agencies and regional universities gathered to discuss these and other important issues during the Coastal Flood Research, Modeling and Monitoring Workshop on Sept. 16.

DGS welcomes James D. Hanes to UD NEWRNet project

Environmental Sciences student James Hanes (BS 2016) has accepted a Water Resources Center Undergraduate Internship for Fall 2015 to work with A. Scott Andres of DGS, and William Ullman and Christopher Main of the School of Marine Science and Policy at the University of Delaware. James will work on high-frequency environmental data collected by the North East Water Resources Network (NEWRNet) project (http://www.dgs.udel.edu/projects/newrnet-north-east-water-resources-network), an NSF-EPSCoR funded project that includes investigators and students from the Universities of Delaware, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Delaware Geological Survey issues report on groundwater modeling in eastern Sussex County

The Delaware Geological Survey (DGS) has released a new technical report titled Simulation of Groundwater Flow and Contaminant Transport in Eastern Sussex County, Delaware with Emphasis on Impacts of Spray Irrigation of Treated Wastewater, which was prepared by Changming He and A. Scott Andres of DGS.

DGS Report of Investigations No. 79 documents development of a detailed study of subsurface hydrogeology, interactions between aquifers and streams, and the effects of spray irrigation of treated wastewater on groundwater beneath southern eastern Sussex County.

RI79 Simulation of Groundwater Flow and Contaminant Transport in Eastern Sussex County, Delaware With Emphasis on Impacts of Spray Irrigation of Treated Wastewater

Simulation of Groundwater Flow and Contaminant Transport in Eastern Sussex County, Delaware With Emphasis on Impacts of Spray Irrigation of Treated Wastewater

This report presents a conceptual model of groundwater flow and the effects of nitrate (NO3-) loading and transport on shallow groundwater quality in a portion of the Indian River watershed, eastern Sussex County, Delaware. Three-dimensional, numerical simulations of groundwater flow, particle tracking, and contaminant transport were constructed and tested against data collected in previous hydrogeological and water-quality studies.

The simulations show a bimodal distribution of groundwater residence time in the study area, with the largest grouping at less than 10 years, the second largest grouping at more than 100 years, and a median of approximately 29 years.

Historically, the principal source of nitrate to the shallow groundwater in the study area has been from the chemical- and manure-based fertilizers used in agriculture. A total mass of NO3- -nitrogen (N) of about 169 kg/day is currently simulated to discharge to surface water. As the result of improved N-management practices, after 45 years a 20 percent decrease in the mass of NO3- -N reaching the water table would result in an approximately 4 percent decrease in the mass of simulated N discharge to streams. The disproportionally smaller decrease in N discharge reflects the large mass of N in the aquifer coupled with long groundwater residence times.

Currently, there are two large wastewater spray irrigation facilities located in the study domain: the Mountaire Wastewater Treatment Facility and Inland Bays Wastewater Facility. The effects of wastewater application through spray irrigation were simulated with a two-step process. First, under different operations and soil conditions, evaporation and water flux, NO3- -N uptake by plants, and NO3- -N leaching were simulated using an unsaturated flow model, Hydrus-1D. Next, the range of simulated NO3- -N loads were input into the flow and transport model to study the impacts on groundwater elevation and NO3- -N conditions.

Over the long term, the spray irrigation of wastewater may increase water-table elevations up to 2.5m and impact large volumes of groundwater with NO3-. Reducing the concentration of NO3- in effluent and increasing the irrigation rate may reduce the volumes of water impacted by high concentrations of NO3-, but may facilitate the lateral and vertical migration of NO3-. Simulations indicate that NO3- will eventually impact deeper aquifers. An optimal practice of wastewater irrigation can be achieved by adjusting irrigation rate and effluent concentration. Further work is needed to determine these optimum application rates and concentrations.

Drought Conditions Indicators for Delaware

Summary of Water Conditions for Delaware website screen shot for March 2015

The DGS will research past performance of the Water Conditions Index (WCI) for Northern New Castle County, as compared with other established drought indicators, and investigate modifying the WCI, if needed. We will also investigate the feasibility of quantifying water conditions in Kent and Sussex Counties by analyzing factors that are most important to these regions (i.e., precipitation, groundwater for agricultural irrigation, etc….)

Project Update: NEWRnet - North East Water Resources Network

Monitoring station at Coursey Pond outlet

Infrastructure that will support the NEWRNet water quality monitoring station was installed at the main outflow of Coursey Pond on the fish ladder on April 23, 2014.

NEWRnet - North East Water Resources Network

NEWRnet study sites
Project Contact(s):

The North East Water Resources (NEWRnet) consortium of EPSCoR jurisdictions of Delaware (DE), Rhode Island (RI), and Vermont (VT) will create an advanced sensor network in watersheds for gathering high-frequency, spatially-extensive water quality and quantity data and a network of lab and field-based experiments and agent-based models to investigate how to align sensor data and their visualization with utilization by stakeholders. DGS is participating in the watershed sensing network by installing and operating a nitrogen and organic carbon sensor and stream discharge monitoring station in the Murderkill River watershed, and collaborating with the project team to interpret results.

Mapping Tsunami Inundation for the U.S. East Coast

National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program
Project Contact(s):

This project will assess tsunami hazard from the above mentioned and other relevant tsunami sources recently studied in the literature and model the corresponding tsunami inundation in affected US East coast communities. We will combine ocean scale simulations of transoceanic tsunami sources, such as Lisbon 1755 like or Puerto Rico Trench co-seismic events, and CVV collapse, with regional scale simulations of these events, along with the regional scale SMF events, in order to establish the relative degree of hazards for East Coast communities. Detailed inundation studies will be conducted for highest-risk East Coast communities, and results of these studies will be used to construct a first-generation of tsunami inundation maps for the chosen communities.

DGS releases new geologic map of Rehoboth Beach area

The Delaware Geological Survey (DGS) has published a new geologic map of the Rehoboth Beach area in eastern Sussex County entitled Geologic Map of the Fairmount and Rehoboth Beach Quadrangles, Delaware. Geologic Map 16 presents the results of research by Kelvin W. Ramsey of the DGS.

The Delaware Water Conditions Summary

The Water Conditions Summary is an online monthly summary of water conditions in Delaware. Principal factors in determining water conditions are precipitation, streamflow, and groundwater levels in aquifers. Data from rain gages, stream gages, and observation wells located throughout Delaware have been collected and compiled since the 1960s by the Delaware Geological Survey. These data are displayed as hydrographs and are also available for download. In general, water is abundant in Delaware, but supply is restricted by natural geologic conditions in some areas, by contamination in others, and is dependent on precipitation.

Delaware Geological Survey - US Geological Survey Stream and Tide Gaging Program

The US Geological Survey in cooperation with the Delaware Geological Survey through a State-Federal partnership program operates and maintains stream and tide gages throughout Delaware. The streamgage network is a component of the National Streamflow Information Program (NSIP), a program that provides real-time and long-term current and historical streamflow information that is not only accurate and unbiased, but also meets the needs of many users.

Stream Station: Millsboro Pond Outlet at Millsboro

USGS 01484525 MILLSBORO POND OUTLET AT MILLSBORO, DE

Station Type: 
Stream
Period of Record: 
May 1986 to September 1988; March 1991 to Present
Frequency: 
Monthly
Map County: 
Sussex County
Map Location: 
38.594556,-75.291028

Stream Station: Beaverdam Branch at Houston

USGS 01484100 BEAVERDAM BRANCH AT HOUSTON, DE

Station Type: 
Stream
Period of Record: 
1958 to Present
Frequency: 
Monthly
Map County: 
Kent County
Map Location: 
38.905778,-75.51275

Stream Station: Blackbird Creek at Blackbird

USGS 01483200 BLACKBIRD CREEK AT BLACKBIRD, DE

Station Type: 
Stream
Period of Record: 
1956 to Present
Frequency: 
Monthly
Map County: 
New Castle County
Map Location: 
39.366277,-75.669389

DGS Cooperative and Joint-Funded Programs

The DGS is, by statute, the state agency responsible for entering into agreements with its counterpart federal agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey, the USGS Office of Minerals Information (formerly the U.S. Bureau of Mines), and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (formerly the U. S. Minerals Management Service), and for administering all cooperative programs of the State with these agencies. The DGS also works with many in-state and out-of-state partner agencies and organizations.

Stream Station: Shellpot Creek at Wilmington

USGS 01477800 SHELLPOT CREEK AT WILMINGTON, DE

Station Type: 
Stream
Period of Record: 
1945 to Present
Frequency: 
Monthly
Map County: 
New Castle County
Map Location: 
39.760972,-75.5186944

Stream Station: Marshyhope Creek near Adamsville

USGS 01488500 MARSHYHOPE CREEK NEAR ADAMSVILLE, DE

Station Type: 
Stream
Period of Record: 
April 1943 to March 1969, October 1971 to December 2002, October 2004 to Present
Frequency: 
Monthly
Map County: 
Kent County
Map Location: 
38.84969,-75.67311