Geology and ground-water resources of the cockfield formation in Western Tennessee

U.S. Geological Survey, Water-Resources Investigations Report 88-4181

by W.S. Parks and J.K. Carmichael

This report is available as a pdf below


The Cockfield Formation of the Claiborne Group of Tertiary age underlies approximately 4,000 square miles in western Tennessee. The formation consists primarily of lenticular beds of very fine to coarse sand, silt, clay, and lignite. The Cockfield Formation has been extensively eroded, and the original thickness is preserved only in a few areas where the formation ranges from 235 to 270 feet in thickness. Saturated beds or lenses of sand in the formation make up the Cockfield aquifer.

Recharge to the Cockfield aquifer is from precipitation on sparse outcrops or by downward infiltration of water from the overlying fluvial deposits of Tertiary(?) and Quatemary age and alluvium of Quatemary age or, where present, the overlying Jackson Formation of Tertiary age. Data from two observation wells indicate that water levels have risen at average rates of about 0.5 and 0.7foot per year during the period 1980-85. Waterfrom the Cockfield aquifer is a calcium bicarbonate type that contains low concentrations of most major constituents and generally is suitable for most uses. Dissolved-solid concentrations range from 44 to 218 milligrams per liter. Data from two aquifer tests indicate transmissivities of 2,500 and 6,000 feet squared per day and storage coefficients of 0.0003 and 0.0007, respectively.

The Cockfield aquifer provides small to moderate quantities of water for several public and industrial water supplies and small quantities to numerous domestic and farm wells. Withdrawals for public and industrial supplies in 1983 averaged about 3.3 million gallons per day. Although the Cockfield aquifer locally contains sands that are thick and coarse enough to yield moderate quantities of water to wells, at most places the aquifer probably would yield only enough water for domestic and farm use.

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