Due to low elevation and a shallow water table, the Delaware Bay coast is highly vulnerable to sea-level rise. Numerical simulations of rising sea levels, groundwater flow, and salt transport through year 2100 indicate significant impacts on land use due to a rising water table and localized impacts due to saltwater intrusion in the surficial aquifer.
11,000 ya to today
Geologic mapping was conducted at 1:12,000 with a 1-ft contour basemap. In some instances, stratigraphic boundaries drawn at topographic breaks reflect detailed mapping using LiDAR data. Elevations of stratigraphic contacts along stream valleys are projected from subsurface data. Except for a few erosional bluffs, these contacts are covered by colluvium. This map supersedes this portion of Geology of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Area, Delaware: Delaware Geological Survey Geologic Map Series No.
Mapping was conducted using field maps at a scale of 1:12,000 with 2-ft contours. Stratigraphic boundaries drawn at topographic breaks reflect detailed mapping using contours not shown on this map. Most stratigraphic units mapped in stream valleys are projected from subsurface data. Except for a few erosional bluffs, these units are covered by colluvium. This map supersedes Geology of the Middletown-Odessa Area, Delaware: Delaware Geological Survey Geologic Map Series No. 2 (Pickett and Spoljaric, 1971).
Delineation of map units is based on sediment-core descriptions (e.g., texture, color, and composition) from 469 locations and seafloor morphology, which was assessed from a seamless NOAA/USGS topo-bathymetric model (Pendleton et al., 2014).
In 2015, staff of the Water Supply Section of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) informed the DGS of their concerns about overpumping of the unconfined Columbia aquifer in an area east of Dover (Figure 1). In this area, the City of Dover’s Long Point Road Wellfield (LPRW) and numerous irrigation systems pump water from the shallow Columbia aquifer.
A parameterization of tidal marsh inundation was developed for the 1,200 hectares of tidal marsh along the 12-km reach of the tidal Murderkill River between Frederica and Bowers Beach in Kent County, Delaware. A parsimonious modeling approach was used that bridges the gap between the simple and often used “bathtub model” (instantaneous inundation based on tides in Delaware Bay), and the more complex modeling of shallow overland that results in the wetting and drying of tidal marshes.
The geological history of the surficial units of the Clayton, Smyrna, and the Delaware portion of the Millington Quadrangles are the result of deposition of the Beaverdam Formation and its modification by erosion and deposition of the Columbia Formation during the early Pleistocene. These units were then modified by the Lynch Heights and Scotts Corners Formations as a result of sea-level fluctuations during the middle to late Pleistocene. The geology is further complicated by periglacial activity that produced Carolina Bay deposits in the map area, which modified the land surface.