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West Virginia Water Science Center

Hydrogeology, Aquifer Geochemistry, and Ground-Water Quality in Morgan County, West Virginia

U.S. Geological Survey, Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5198

By Carol J. Boughton and Kurt J. McCoy

Prepared in cooperation with the West Virginia Conservation Agency and the Eastern Panhandle Conservation District


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Abstract

Private and public wells throughout Morgan County, W. Va., were tested to determine aquifer hydraulic, geochemical, and water-quality characteristics. The entire study area is located in the Valley and Ridge Physiographic Province, a region of complex geologic structure and lithology. Aquifers in the study area are characterized by thin to thick bedded formations with interbedding among the various limestones, shales, sandstones, and siltstones that are folded into a series of steeply dipping north-south trending anticlines and synclines. Zones of ground-water production typically consist of one to two fracture sets, with little to no production from unfractured bedrock matrix. Measurements of transmissivity range from 2 to 1,490 feet squared per day, with the larger transmissivities occurring near bedding contacts and in zones with cross-faulting or jointing. Ground water flows from recharge areas in the uplands to local drainages and to deeper flow systems that appear to be controlled by regional geologic structure. The overall flow direction is from south to north within the study area.

Ground water within the study area is predominantly a calcium-bicarbonate type water reflecting contact with carbonate rocks. Sodium-bicarbonate and calcium-magnesium-sulfate end-members also exist, with many samples exhibiting mixing, which may be the result of flow between the differing rock types or within units containing both carbonate rocks and shales. Values of water-quality characteristics that were greater than U.S. Environmental Protection Agency drinking-water standards included radon-222, pH, turbidity, iron, manganese, aluminum, and total- and fecal-coliform and Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria. Concentrations of radon-222 were detected in all samples from all units, with the largest concentrations (1,330 and 2,170 picocuries per liter) from the Clinton Formation.

Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Purpose and Scope

Description of Study Area

Methods of Investigation

Previous Studies

Hydrogeology

Geology

Hydrology

Relation of Geology to Ground-Water Flow

Aquifer Properties

Water Levels

Aquifer Geochemistry and Ground-Water Quality

Geochemical Properties

Water-Quality Characteristics

pH

Specific Conductance

Temperature

Alkalinity

Water Hardness

Dissolved Oxygen

Turbidity

Inorganic Constituents

Major Ions

Bromide and Fluoride

Iron and Manganese

Trace Elements

Nutrients

Nitrate and Nitrite

Ammonia Species

Phosphorous and Orthophosphate

Radon-222

Bacteria

Summary and Conclusions

Acknowledgments

References Cited

Appendix 1. Well-construction and aquifer properties for selected wells, Morgan County, West Virginia

Appendix 2a-d. Water-quality data values for wells, Morgan County, West Virginia

Appendix 3a-c. Water-quality data values for springs, Morgan County, West Virginia

Figures

1-3. Maps showing:

1. Location and physical features of study area.

2. Location of wells and springs sampled in Morgan County, West Virginia.

3. Geology of Morgan County, West Virginia, including major structural features and lines of section.

4. Generalized geologic section of the Great Cacapon and Paw Paw quadrangles, Morgan County, West Virginia.

5. Generalized geologic section of Stotlers Crossroads quadrangle, Morgan County, West Virginia.

6. Conceptual model of ground-water flow through a faulted and fractured anticlinal ridge bordered by a synclinal ridge.

7. Block diagram showing possible circulation of flow to a warm spring located near the crest of an anticline at the intersection of two faults.

8. Map showing locations and magnitudes of transmissivities, Morgan County, West Virginia.

9. Map showing ground-water-level altitudes and depth to static water levels in Morgan County, West Virginia.

10-15. Boxplots showing:

10. Distribution of pH values in ground-water samples from hydrogeologic units located in Morgan County, West Virginia.

11. Relation between concentration of pH and alkalinity in ground-water samples from Morgan County, West Virginia.

12. Relation between concentration of pH and dissolved silica in ground-water samples from Morgan County, West Virginia.

13. Distribution of specific conductance in ground-water samples from hydrogeologic units located in Morgan County, West Virginia.

14. Distribution of temperature in ground-water samples from springs and wells located in Morgan County, West Virginia.

15. Distribution of temperature in ground-water samples from hydrogeologic units located in Morgan County, West Virginia.

16. Diagrams showing relative geochemical composition of ground water from springs and wells, by hydrogeologic unit, Morgan County, West Virginia.

17-22. Boxplots showing:

17. Distribution of concentrations of iron in ground-water samples from hydrogeologic units located in Morgan County, West Virginia

18. Distribution of concentrations of manganese in ground-water samples from hydrogeologic units located in Morgan County, West Virginia

19. Relation between concentrations of iron and manganese in ground-water samples from Morgan County, West Virginia

20. Relation between concentrations of zinc and aluminum in ground-water samples from Morgan County, West Virginia

21. Distribution of concentration of radon-222 in ground-water samples from hydrogeologic units located in Morgan County, West Virginia

22. Relation between the ratio of casing length to well depth and the occurrence of bacteria in wells located in Morgan County, West Virginia

Table

1. Comparison of historical transmissivity and specific-capacity data (Kozar and Mathes, 2001) with results from this study for geologic units occurring in Morgan County, West Virginia.


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Suggested Citation:

Boughton, C.J., and McCoy, K.J., 2006, Hydrogeology, Aquifer Geochemistry, and Ground-Water Quality in Morgan County, West Virginia: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5198, 56 p.



For more information about USGS activities in West Virginia, visit the USGS West Virginia Water Science Center home page.



U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Persistent URL: http://pubs.water.usgs.gov/sir20065198
Page Contact Information: USGS Publishing Network
Last modified: Friday, October 13, 2006, 4:30 PM
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