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Scientific Investigations Report 2012–5249

Prepared in cooperation with the City of Pooler, Georgia

Hydrogeology and Water Quality of the Floridan Aquifer System and Effect of Lower Floridan Aquifer Pumping on the Upper Floridan Aquifer, Pooler, Chatham County, Georgia, 2011–2012

Gerard J. Gonthier

ABSTRACT

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Two test wells were completed in Pooler, Georgia, in 2011 to investigate the potential of using the Lower Floridan aquifer as a source of water for municipal use. One well was completed in the Lower Floridan aquifer at a depth of 1,120 feet (ft) below land surface; the other well was completed in the Upper Floridan aquifer at a depth of 486 ft below land surface. At the Pooler test site, the U.S. Geological Survey performed flowmeter surveys, packer-isolated slug tests within the Lower Floridan confining unit, slug tests of the entire Floridan aquifer system, and aquifer tests of the Upper and Lower Floridan aquifers.

Drill cuttings, geophysical logs, and borehole flowmeter surveys indicate that the Upper Floridan aquifer extends 333 –515 ft below land surface, the Lower Floridan confining unit extends 515–702 ft below land surface, and the Lower Floridan aquifer extends 702–1,040 ft below land surface.

Flowmeter surveys indicate that the Upper Floridan aquifer contains two water-bearing zones at depth intervals of 339 –350 and 375–515 ft; the Lower Floridan confining unit contains one zone at a depth interval of 550–620 ft; and the Lower Floridan aquifer contains five zones at depth intervals of 702–745, 745–925, 925–984, 984–1,015, and 1,015–1,040 ft. Flowmeter testing of the test borehole open to the entire Floridan aquifer system indicated that the Upper Floridan aquifer contributed 92.4 percent of the total flow rate of 708 gallons per minute; the Lower Floridan confining unit contributed 3.0 percent; and the Lower Floridan aquifer contributed 4.6 percent.

Horizontal hydraulic conductivity of the Lower Floridan confining unit derived from slug tests within three packer-isolated intervals ranged from 0.5 to 10 feet per day (ft/d). Aquifer-test analyses yielded values of transmissivity for the Upper Floridan aquifer, Lower Floridan confining unit, and the Lower Floridan aquifer of 46,000, 700, and 4,000 feet squared per day (ft2/d), respectively. Horizontal hydraulic conductivity of 4 ft/d for the Lower Floridan confining unit, derived from aquifer-test analyses, is near the midrange for values derived from packer-isolated slug tests. The transmissivity of the entire Floridan aquifer system derived from aquifer-test analyses totals about 51,000 ft2/d, similar to the value of 58,000 ft2/d derived from open slug tests on the entire Floridan aquifer system.

Water-level data for each aquifer test were filtered for external influences such as barometric pressure, earth-tide effects, and long-term trends to enable detection of small (less than 1 foot) water-level responses to aquifer-test pumping. During the 72-hour aquifer test of pumping the Lower Floridan aquifer, a drawdown response of 51.7 ft was observed in the Lower Floridan pumped well and a drawdown response of 0.9 foot was observed in the Upper Floridan observation well located 85 ft from the pumped well.

First posted November 26, 2012

For additional information contact:
Director, Georgia Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
3039 Amwiler Rd.
Suite 130
Atlanta, GA 30360-2824
http://ga.water.usgs.gov/

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Suggested citation:

Gonthier, G.J., 2012, Hydrologeology and water quality of the Floridan aquifer system and effect of Lower Floridan aquifer pumping on the Upper Floridan aquifer, Pooler, Chatham County, Georgia, 2011–2012: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2012–5249, 62 p., available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2012/5249/.



Contents

Acknowledgments

Abstract

Introduction

Hydrogeology and Water Quality of the Floridan Aquifer System

Effect of Lower Floridan Aquifer Pumping on the Upper Floridan Aquifer

Summary

Selected References

Appendix 1. Slug tests, Pooler, Georgia, December 13–14, 2011

Appendix 2. Aquifer Tests, Pooler, Georgia, March and April 2012


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