First State Geology Newsletter Signup

First State Geology has been the newsletter of DGS for over 25 years.

Click here to signup!

Site content related to keyword: "Kent County"

Hydrogeologic Resources for Delaware

Brandywine Creek in Northern Delaware

Hydrogeologic data and information for Delaware. This includes the Water Conditions Report, groundwater well data, links to real-time data from DEOS and USGS, and other general information about Delaware's hydrogeology.

Meteorological Station: DelDOT Admin Building, Dover

DelDOT Admin Building Meterological Station

Station Type: 
Period of Record: 
1949 to present
Map County: 
Kent County
Map Location: 

Stream Station: St. Jones River at Dover


Station Type: 
Period of Record: 
January 1958 to Present
Map County: 
Kent County
Map Location: 

Digital Water-Table Data for Kent County, Delaware (Digital Data Product No. 05-03)

Digital Water-Table Data for Kent County, Delaware

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.

Groundwater affected by development, scientists say

Groundwater is both the source of drinking water and the method of disposing of wastewater, said Scott Andres, hydrogeologist with the Delaware Geological Survey. There is plenty of water to be had, he said, but the challenge is protecting public and environmental health.

DGS Digital Datasets

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.

Catalog of Delaware Earthquakes Spreadsheet

Catalog of Delaware Earthquakes Spreadsheet

The occurrences of earthquakes in northern Delaware and adjacent areas of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey are well documented by both historical and instrumental records. Over 550 earthquakes have been documented within 150 miles of Delaware since 1677. One of the earliest known events occurred in 1737 and was felt in Philadelphia and surrounding areas. The largest known event in Delaware occurred in the Wilmington area in 1871 with an intensity of VII (Modified Mercalli Scale). The second largest event occurred in the Delaware area in 1973 (magnitude 3.8 and maximum Modified Mercalli Intensity of V-VI). The epicenter for this event was placed in or near the Delaware River. Sixty-nine earthquakes have been documented or suspected in Delaware since 1871.

Marine Mammals: Phylum Chordata

Marine Mammals:  Phylum Chordata<br>Source:

The Pollack Farm Site, in the Cheswold sands of the lower Miocene Calvert Formation, produced a fragmentary marine mammal fauna. The Pollack location yielded at least six cetaceans (whales, porpoises), a sirenian(manatee), along with one of the earliest records of a true seal (Listed below).

Land Mammals: Phylum Chordata

Land Mammals:  Phylum Chordata<br>Source:

Land mammal fossils were discovered in 1992 in the lower part of the Calvert formation at the Pollack Farm site. During the short time the pit was open, the collection grew to become the most diverse tertiary land mammal fauna known north of Florida on the eastern half of North America.

Birds: Phylum Chordata

Birds - Miocene Fossils <br>Source:  Wikimedia Commons

The lower Miocene Pollack Farm Fossil Site has yielded few avian fossils in comparison to the other classes of vertebrates and invertebrates. Only eleven fossil fragments, assignable to six taxa, were collected at the Pollack site. Of the eleven avian fossils collected, representations from three distinctive orders were recovered: Gaviiformes (divers and loons, seen below), Charadriiformes (gulls and shore birds), Pelecaniformes (cormorants and pelicans).

Reptiles: Phlyum Chordata

Reptiles: Phlyum Chordata<br>Source:

The Pollack Farm Site has provided the first legitimate window of Miocene reptilian life in North America east of the great plains and north of Florida. In years prior to the excavation of the Pollack site, records of particular small lizards and snakes were non-existent in locations of the mid-Atlantic and northeast, thus providing a significant value to the Miocene fossils recovered.

Kent and Sussex Water Recharge Data (Digital Data Product No 02-01)

Ground-Water Recharge Potential For Kent and Sussex Counties

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.

RI72 Geology and Extent of the Confined Aquifers of Kent County, Delaware

RI72 Geology and Extent of the Confined Aquifers of Kent County, Delaware

Ground water comprises nearly all of the water supply in Kent County, Delaware. The confined aquifers of the area are an important part of this resource base. The aim of this study is to provide an up-to-date geologic framework for the confined aquifers of Kent County, with a focus on their stratigraphy and correlation. Seven confined aquifers are used for water supply in Kent County. All occur at progressively greater depths south-southeastward, paralleling the overall dip of the sedimentary section that underlies the state. The two geologically oldest, the Mount Laurel and Rancocas aquifers, are normally reached by drilling only in the northern part of the county. The Mount Laurel aquifer is an Upper Cretaceous marine shelf deposit composed of clean quartz sands that are commonly glauconitic. It occurs at around 300 ft below sea level in the Smyrna Clayton area and is typically just less than 100 ft thick. Southward, toward Dover, it passes into fine-grained facies that do not yield significant ground water. The Rancocas aquifer is a Paleocene to Eocene marine unit of shelf deposits consisting of glauconite-rich sands with shells and hard layers. It occurs as high as 100 ft below sea level in northwestern Kent County and deepens southeastward, rapidly changing facies to finer-grained, nonaquifer lithologies in the same direction.

RI66 Ground-Water Recharge Potential Mapping in Kent and Sussex Counties, Delaware

RI66 Ground-Water Recharge Potential Mapping in Kent and Sussex Counties, Delaware

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.

Piney Point Formation


Bright green, fine to coarse, shelly, glauconitic (20 to 40% glauconite), quartz sand. Silty and clayey toward the bottom and coarsens upwards. Considered to be a marine deposit (Benson, Jordan, and Spoljaric, 1985). The Piney Point aquifer coincides with the sandier portion of the unit. Ranges up to 250 feet thick in the southern portion of Kent County.

Calvert Formation


Gray to grayish-brown, clayey silt to silty clay interbedded with gray to light-gray silty to fine to coarse quartz sands. Discontinuous beds of shell are common in the sands and in the clayey silts. Found in the subsurface throughout Kent County. Interpreted to be a marine deposit. Rarely the surficial unit on the uplands in northwestern Kent County where the Columbia or Beaverdam Formations are absent. Outcrops are patchy and are too small to be shown on this map. Three major aquifers are found within the Calvert Formation in Kent County: the Frederica, Federalsburg, and Cheswold, from top to bottom, respectively (McLaughlin and Velez, 2006). Ranges up to 425 feet thick.

Choptank Formation


Light gray to blue gray, fine to medium, shelly, silty, quartz sand and clayey silt. Discontinuous beds of fine sand and medium to coarse quartz sand are common. Base of the unit is marked by a coarse to granule sand that fines upwards to a medium to fine silty sand. This sand is the Milford aquifer (Ramsey, 1997; McLaughlin and Velez, 2006). In southern Kent County, can be subdivided into upper and lower units. Lower unit consists of the fining-upward sequence from the basal sand to a hard clayey silt to silty clay that ranges in color from grayish brown to bluish gray. Upper unit consists of clean to silty, fine to medium, moderately shelly sands with thin silty clay beds. Rarely found in outcrop in the upper reaches of some of the more deeply incised streams. Outcrops are too small to be shown on this map. Found in the southern half of Kent County. Up to 140 feet thick in the southernmost part of the county.

St. Marys Formation


Bioturbated, dark-greenish-gray silty clay, banded light-gray, white, and red silty clay, and glauconitic, shelly, very fine sandy silt. In the Georgetown Quadrangle, the St. Marys Formation is capped by about 5 to 15 ft of bioturbated, dark-greenish-gray silty clay. A distinct burrowed horizon separates the clay from the underlying banded clay that consists of a 10- to 15-ft thick, compact, color-banded silty clay with scattered white clayey concretions. The banded clay has a sharp contact at its base with underlying glauconitic, very fine, sandy silt. The sandy silt contains shells of the gastropod Turritella. The entire thickness of the St. Marys Formation is less than 100 ft in the Georgetown Quadrangle, thinning from its thickest in the southeast corner to about 50 ft thick in the northwest corner of the map area. Interpreted to be a marine deposit of late Miocene age (McLaughlin et al., 2008).