Preliminary delineation and description of the regional aquifers of Tennessee - tertiary aquifer system

U.S. Geological Survey, Water-Resources Investigations Report 83-4011

by J. V. Brahana, M.W. Bradley Dolores Mulderink

This report is available as a pdf below


The Tertiary aquifer system is composed of sands and clays of Quaternary and Tertiary age. The aquifer system occurs in West Tennessee from the Mississippi River east to the outcrop of the Porters Creek Clay. Ground water is recharged at outcrops and through overlying permeable deposits. The underlying Porters Creek Clay acts as the lower confining unit.

The Tertiary aquifer system is the most prolific source of ground water in Tennessee. The city of Memphis uses the Memphis Sand, which is a major water-bearing unit in the Tertiary aquifer system, as a primary source of drinking water. The water quality is excellent with generally less than 200 milligrams per liter dissolved solids.

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