Preliminary Delineation and Description of the Regional Aquifers of Tennessee -- Highland Rim Aquifer System

U.S. Geological Survey, Water-Resources Investigations Report 82-4054

by J.V. Brahana and M.W. Bradley

This report is available as a pdf below


The Highland Rim aquifer system is primarily composed of Mississippian carbonates. This aquifer system occurs west of the Valley and Ridge province. It crops out in the Highland Rim and the Sequatchie Valley. It has been removed by erosion from the Central Basin. Ground water in the Highland Rim aquifer system occurs primarily in secondary openings. These openings include solution openings, joints, and faults. The Chattanooga Shale is the lower confining layer for the Highland Rim aquifer system. Under the Cumberland Plateau, this aquifer system is separated from the overlying Pennsylvanian formations by the Pennington Shale.

The Highland Rim aquifer system is an important source of drinking water. It supplies most of the rural, domestic and many public supplies of drinking water in the Highland Rim. Where there is a dynamic flow system, dissolved-solids concentrations are less than 500 milligrams per liter. However, isolated cells may exist where the ground water has dissolved-solids concentrations of more than 1,000 milligrams per liter.

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