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PUBLICATIONS—Professional Paper 1680

 

A Surficial Hydrogeologic Framework for the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain

By Scott W. Ator, Judith M. Denver, David E. Krantz, Wayne L. Newell, and Sarah K. Martucci

 

This report is also available as a pdf.


ABSTRACT

    A surficial hydrogeologic framework was developed for the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain, from New Jersey through North Carolina. The framework includes seven distinct hydrogeologic subregions within which the primary natural physical factors affecting the flow and chemistry of shallow ground water and small streams are relatively consistent. Within most subregions, the transport of chemicals from the land surface to ground water and streams can be described by a fairly uniform set of natural processes; some subregions include mixed hydrogeologic settings that are indistinguishable at the regional scale. The hydrogeologic framework and accompanying physiographic and geologic delineations are presented in digital and printed format.

The seven hydrogeologic subregions that constitute the framework were delineated primarily on the basis of physiography and the predominant texture (typical grain size) of surficial and (where surficial sediments are particularly thin) subcropping sediments. Physiography for the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain was constructed by standardizing and extrapolating previously published interpretations for the Coastal Plain of South Carolina and New Jersey, based on similar work in the other States. Surficial and subcropping geology were similarly compiled from previous publications by resolving inconsistencies in nomenclature, interpretation, and scale, and interpolating across unmapped areas. A bulk sediment texture was determined for each mapped geologic unit on the basis of published descriptions.

Fundamental differences among the seven hydrogeologic subregions are described on the basis of hypotheses about surficial and shallow subsurface hydrology and water chemistry in each, as well as variable land use, soils, and topography. On the regional scale, the Coastal Lowlands (Subregion 1), the Middle Coastal Plain Fine Sediments (Subregion 3), the Middle Coastal Plain Sands with Overlying Gravels (Subregion 4), and the Inner Coastal Plain Upland Sands and Gravels (Subregion 5) are relatively homogeneous in terms of hydrogeology, although an examination of results from smallscale studies within the Coastal Plain demonstrates that even these areas are quite variable, locally. Moderate topographic relief and primarily permeable surficial sediments promote good drainage of the land surface in Subregion 4, for example, but drainage is commonly poor in the Coastal Lowlands (Subregion 1) due to flat topography and low elevations. Agriculture is common in both subregions, although artificial drainage is typically required to support cultivation in Subregion 1. Important physiographic differences are evident among the remaining three subregions, although sediment textures within the Middle Coastal Plain Mixed Sediment Texture (Subregion 2), the Inner Coastal Plain Dissected Outcrop Belt (Subregion 6), and the Alluvial and Estuarine Valleys (Subregion 7) are variable even at the regional scale.

CONTENTS

Foreword

Abstract

Introduction 

Purpose of a hydrogeologic framework 

Limitations of previous data for regional investigations

The Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain

Acknowledgements

Development of the regional surficial hydrogeologic framework

Delineation of regional physiography

Delineation of regional geology

Delineation of hydrogeologic subregions

The regional surficial hydrogeologic framework 

Subregion 1: Coastal Lowlands

Subregion 2: Middle Coastal Plain – Mixed Sediment Texture

Subregion 3: Middle Coastal Plain – Fine Sediments

Subregion 4: Middle Coastal Plain – Sands with Overlying Gravel

Subregion 5: Inner Coastal Plain – Upland Sands and Gravels

Subregion 6: Inner Coastal Plain – Dissected Outcrop Belt.

Subregion 7: Alluvial and Estuarine Valleys

Evaluation of the regional framework at the local scale

Subregion 1: Coastal Lowlands

Subregion 2: Middle Coastal Plain – Mixed Sediment Texture

Subregion 3: Middle Coastal Plain – Fine Sediments

Subregion 4: Middle Coastal Plain – Sands with Overlying Gravels

Subregion 5: Inner Coastal Plain – Upland Sands and Gravels

Subregion 6: Inner Coastal Plain – Dissected Outcrop Belt

Subregion 7: Alluvial and Estuarine Valleys

Framework application

Intended uses

Limitations

Summary

References

Appendix 1: Technical notes

by Sarah K. Martucci
      Geology coverages
      Physiography coverage
      Hydrogeologic framework coverage
      Reference

Appendix 2: Geologic setting of the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain

by David E. Krantz
      Physiography
      Structure
      Geologic history
      The Piedmont – Coastal Plain transition (The Fall Zone)
      Weathering of surficial units
      Reference


This report is available online in Portable Document Format (PDF). If you do not have the Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader, it is available for free download from Adobe Systems Incorporated.

 

Complete Accessible text of report (PDF, 3.6 MB)

Cover and outside page (PDF, 1.3 MB)


PLATES

Plates 1–4. Maps showing:

1. Physiography of the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain (PDF, 2.9 MB)

2. Surficial and subcropping geology of the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain (PDF, 7.7 MB)

3. Predominant texture of surficial geologic units in the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain (PDF, 3.4 MB)

4. Hydrogeologic subregions of the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain (PDF, 2.9 MB)

 

Document Accessibility: Adobe Systems Incorporated has information about PDFs and the visually impaired. This information provides tools to help make PDF files accessible. These tools convert Adobe PDF documents into HTML or ASCII text, which then can be read by a number of common screen-reading programs that synthesize text as audible speech. In addition, an accessible version of Acrobat Reader 5.0 for Windows (English only), which contains support for screen readers, is available. These tools and the accessible reader may be obtained free from Adobe at Adobe Access.

 

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