Delineation and Description of the Regional Aquifers of Tennessee -- The Knox Aquifer in Central and West Tennessee

U.S. Geological Survey, Water-Resources Investigations Report 83-4012

by J.V. Brahana and Michael W. Bradley

This report is available as a pdf below


The Knox aquifer is composed of the Cambrian and Ordovician carbonate rocks of the Knox Group. This aquifer occurs throughout Tennessee, west of the Valley and Ridge province. The Knox crops out in the Sequatchie Valley and in the Wells Creeks cryptoexplosive structure on the northwestern Highland Rim. Ground water in the upper Knox occurs primarily in solution openings. The aquifer may be recharged through fractures and faults in the overlying limestones of the Central Basin aquifer system. The underlying shale of the Conasauga Group acts as a lower confining layer.

Throughout parts of the Central Basin province, the Knox aquifer is an important source of water for rural domestic supplies. In these areas, ground water from the Knox generally has less than 1,000 milligrams per liter dissolved solids. Outside of the Central Basin, the dissolved solids concentrations increased. They may approach brine concentrations beneath the Cumberland Plateau.

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