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Hydrogeology and Ground-Water-Flow Simulation in the Former Airfield Area of Naval Support Activity Mid-South, Millington, Tennessee

U.S. Geological Survey
Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5040
by Connor J. Haugh, John K. Carmichael, and David E. Ladd

This report is available as a pdf.


Naval Support Activity Mid-South is a Department of the Navy base located in Millington, Tennessee. The facility was home to the Naval Aviation Technical Training Center from 1943 until 1996. As part of the Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990, the primary training mission of the facility was realigned and most of the northern part of the base, referred to as the Northside and consisting primarily of an airfield, was transferred to the city of Millington in January 2000. During environmental investigations at the base, plumes of dissolved chlorinated solvents resulting from past aircraft maintenance and training operations were identified in shallow ground water beneath the airfield area. The airfield area containing the plumes has been designated as Area of Concern (AOC) A. Chlorinated solvents, primarily trichloroethene (TCE), are the principal contaminants in ground water at AOC A, with TCE identified in concentrations as high as 4,400 micrograms per liter. The nature and extent of these plumes at AOC A were addressed during a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Facility Investigation, and selected options for remediation currently are being implemented under a corrective action program. As part of these efforts, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is working with the Navy and its consultants to study the hydrogeologic framework of the base and surrounding area, with a focus on AOC A.

Since 1997, investigations at and near the facility have produced data prompting revisions and additions to information published that year in two USGS reports. The updates are presented in this report and consist primarily of (1) refinements to selected hydrogeologic maps presented in the 1997 reports, on the basis of data collected from new wells at on- and off-base locations, (2) additional hydraulic-conductivity data collected for the alluvial-fluvial deposits aquifer at AOC A, and (3) construction of a potentiometric-surface map of the shallow aquifer for the former part of the Naval Support Activity Mid-South Northside and adjacent off-base locations for February and March 2000 water-level conditions. Additionally, a numerical ground-water-flow model of AOC A was developed and calibrated to the February and March 2000 potentiometric-surface data, the results of which also are presented in this report. Particle-tracking simulations were used with the model to simulate ground-water-flow paths from two sites suspected of being contaminant source areas at AOC A. The flow paths indicated by the particle tracking simulations agree reasonably well with maps of the interpreted extents of TCE plumes. The time-of-travel plots show that advective travel times from the two suspected source areas to the model boundary are controlled by relative proximities of the source areas to a part of AOC A identified from investigations and simulated with the model as having the highest horizontal hydraulic conductivity.

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