USGS

Distribution of Salinity in Ground Water from the Interpretation of Borehole-Geophysical Logs and Salinity Data, Calf Pasture Point, Davisville, Rhode Island

U.S. Geological Survey, Water-Resources Investigations Report 99-4153

Peter E. Church and William C. Brandon

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Abstract

The distribution of salinity in ground water at Calf Pasture Point, a small coastal peninsula bounded by Narragansett Bay on the east and Allen Harbor on the west, in Davisville, Rhode Island, was interpreted from borehole-geophysical data and previously collected salinity data to help identify potential flowpaths of contaminated ground water to surface-water bodies. The surficial material at this 40-acre site, which ranges in thickness from about 30 to 85 feet, is composed of an upper sand unit, a silt unit, and a till unit overlying bedrock. Borehole-geophysical data indicate that fresh ground water is present in all surficial units in the northern and northwestern part of the site. In the central and eastern parts of the site, where most of the current land surface is composed of dredged fill placed in a small saltwater embayment, brackish and saline ground water predominate. Fresh ground water moving into this area from upgradient and recharge to this extended land surface from precipitation is diluting the saline groundwater in the upper sand and till units, and to a lesser extent in the silt unit. In this area, the freshwater-flow system is slowly expanding towards Narragansett Bay and the entrance channel to Allen Harbor.

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