Test borings made in preparation for construction of a power line
across the 2.3 miles wide Delaware River provided an opportunity to
investigate the geology beneath the river which is otherwise inaccessible.
The information is of value in studies of ground-water development
near the River and for other engineered works as well as
understanding the geologic history of a major feature of the State.
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.
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.
RI36 History of Oil and Gas Exploration in the Mid-Atlantic Region and Delaware's Involvement in the Federal OCS Leasing Program
There has been sporadic exploration for oil and gas in the Mid-Atlantic region for over 50 years. Non-commercial deposits of oil and gas have recently been discovered in the sedimentary rock section of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) 80 miles off the New Jersey-Delaware coast. The oil and gas occurs within entrapment structures in ancient rocks deposited and buried in a deep basin called the Baltimore Canyon trough. This trough forms part of the Coastal Plain and continental shelf geologic provinces on the Atlantic Coast.
On December 10, a low pressure system moved rapidly north-northwest from eastern North Carolina and Virginia, up the Chesapeake Bay to a position just west of Chestertown in Kent County, Maryland by 0700 on December 11. The system then moved irregularly to the southeast, stalled for several hours over Georgetown, Delaware, and proceeded offshore early on December 12. Approximate locations of the storm's track are shown on Figure 1. The storm had associated rain that contributed to some local stream flooding and high winds that created strong surf and waves. The waves were compounded by an astronomical high tide (full moon) to produce coastal flooding along Delaware Bay and some breaching of the dunes along the Atlantic coast. The position of the storm offshore blew north-northeast winds onto the coast and abnormally high tides continued through December 15.
The Columbia deposits of Delaware form a sheet of sand with a maximum thickness of approximately 150 feet which covers most of the Coastal Plain portion of the State. The dispersal pattern, deduced from foreset dip directions of cross-bedding, indicates that the sediment entered the study area from the northeast, i.e., from the direction of the valley of the Delaware River between Wilmington and Trenton, and spread south and southeast over Delaware.
The purpose of this investigation was to obtain data on and study the factors affecting the salinity of the Delaware River from Philadelphia, Pa., to the Appoquinimink River, Del. The general chemical quality of water in the estuary is described, including changes in salinity in the river cross section and profile, diurnal and seasonal changes, and the effects of rainfall, sea level, and winds on salinity. Relationships are established of the concentrations of chloride and dissolved solids to specific conductance. In addition to chloride profiles and isochlor plots, time series are plotted for salinity or some quantity representing salinity, fresh-water discharge, mean river level, and mean sea level. The two major variables which appear to have the greatest effect on the salinity of the estuary are the fresh-water flow of the river and sea level. The most favorable combination of these variables for salt-water encroachment occurs from August to early October and the least favorable combination occurs between December and May.
This poster shows three different map views of the water table as well as information about how the maps were made, how the depth to water table changes with seasons and climate, and how the water table affects use and disposal of water. The map views are of depth to the water table, water-table elevation (similar to topography), and water-table gradient (related to water flow velocity).
The shaded relief image on the left was created using 30-meter resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs). The DEMs were developed by John Mackenzie, University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Spatial Analysis Laboratory, from rasterized 1992-93 United States Geological Survey (USGS) Digital Line Graph (DLG) hypsography data. He also combined these data with zero-elevation contours extracted from 1989 Landsat TM Band 7 satellite imagery for coastal quadrangles. The image was digitally enhanced using a false sun angle of 45 degrees shining from the northwest to exaggerate the geomorphic features. In reality the Delaware Coastal Plain is not "mountainous," as it looks in this enhanced image. The hydrology layer was created using USGS 30 x 60 minute and 7.5 minute series DLG data. Municipal boundaries were created using the Delaware Municipal Boundary Framework Layer. Both maps are projected in Universal Transverse Mercator, Zone 18 (UTM 18) on the North American Datum 1983 (NAD83).
A series of cores was obtained from a boring in the sediments of the Delaware River near the Delaware Memorial Bridge. The mineralogy, texture and palynology of these samples have been studied. The sedimentary and palynological records suggest that the Delaware River, while swollen with Wisconsin meltwaters, deepened its channel and that subsequent flooding of the mouth of the stream by rising sea waters initiated the deposition of estuarine silts in post-Wisconsin time.
The purpose of this investigation was to obtain data on and study the factors affecting the salinity of the Delaware River from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Reedy Island, Delaware. The techniques of analyses of data and results of the analyses are presented.