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Circular 1338

Prepared in cooperation with the
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

Hydrogeology and Groundwater Resources of the Coastal Aquifers of Southeastern Massachusetts

By John P. Masterson and Donald A. Walter


Cover and link to report PDF (7.3 MB)

The glacially derived aquifer systems of southeastern Massachusetts compose the largest groundwater reservoir in the State. Population increases, land-use changes, and climate change in this area could lead to three primary environmental effects that relate directly to groundwater resources—(1) increases in pumping that could adversely affect environmentally sensitive groundwater-fed surface waters, such as ponds, streams, and wetlands; (2) changes in land use that could affect the quality of water in the aquifer; and (3) changes in precipitation and mean sea level that can affect water levels, streamflow, and the position of the freshwater/saltwater boundary. Therefore, understanding groundwater flow and the factors that can affect it is critical to managing and protecting this vital resource.


First posted October 2009

For additional information contact:
Massachusetts and Rhode Island
Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
10 Bearfoot Road
Northborough, MA 01532

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Masterson, J.P., and Walter, D.A., 2009, Hydrogeology and groundwater resources of the coastal aquifers of southeastern Massachusetts: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1338, 16 p.


Hydrogeologic Setting
Groundwater Resources
Source of Water
Water Table
Water Budget
Effects of Changes in Pumping and Recharge
Potential Effects of Climate Change
References Cited

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