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Potential Changes in Ground-Water Flow and their Effects on the Ecology and Water Resources of the Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts

By John P. Masterson and John W. Portnoy

General Information Product 13

Continued land development, population growth, and sea-level rise have created concerns regarding the supply of potable water and the quality and quantity of fresh ground water discharging to ponds, streams, and coastal areas on Lower Cape Cod, Massachusetts. These potential concerns include:

(1) Increased loading of the nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus, and the consequent eutrophication of fresh and coastal surface-water bodies.
(2) Declines in pond levels, increases in the depth to the water table beneath inland wetlands, reductions in streamflow, reductions in ground-water discharge to the coast, and increased saltwater intrusion from increased ground-water withdrawals
(3) Increased erosion rates, damage from higher storm-surge flooding, landward intrusion of seawater in coastal marshes and wetlands, and a decrease in the thickness of the freshwater lens from rising sea levels. Therefore, understanding how ground-water flow affects freshwater and estuarine ecosystems of the Cape Cod National Seashore is vital to managing and protecting these natural resources.

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Printable PDF version (5.5 MB) -- 16 pages

HTML version -- 4 pages


Suggested citation for this report, in USGS format:

Masterson, J.P., and Portnoy, J.W., 2005, Potential Changes in Ground-Water Flow and their Effects on the Ecology and Water Resources of the Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts: General Information Product 13, 16 p.


For more information about USGS water activities in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, visit the USGS MA-RI Water Science Center Home Page.


 



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Last modified: Thursday, January 10 2013, 11:47:01 AM
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