Georgia Water Science Center

USGS Water-Resources Investigations Report 96-4052


This report is available online in pdf format (0.7 MB): USGS WRIR 96-4052 (Opens the PDF file in a new window. )

Lisa M. Stewart and David W. Hicks

U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 96-4052, 26 pages (Published 1996)


This report is part of an interdisciplinary effort to identify and describe processes that control movement and fate of selected fertilizers and pesticides in the surface and subsurface environments in the Fall Line Hills district of the Georgia Coastal Plain physiographic province. This report describes the hydrogeology of the interstream area between Ty Ty Creek and its tributary near Plains, Sumter County, Georgia.

Geologic units of interest to this study are, in ascending order; (1) the Tuscahoma Formation, a bluish gray, silty clay; (2) the Tallahatta Formation, a fine-to-coarse, poorly sorted quartz sand that is divided into an upper and lower unit; and (3) the undifferentiated overburden, which consists of fine to medium poorly sorted sand, silt and clay. Continuous-core samples indicate that the unsaturated zone includes the undifferentiated overburden and the upper unit of the Tallahatta Formation, and attains a maximum thickness of about 52 feet (ft) in the southern part of the study area. The Claiborne aquifer in the study area consists of the lower unit of the Tallahatta Formation and ranges in thickness from 3 ft near Ty Ty Creek tributary to about 20 ft in the upland divide area. It is confined below by the clayey sediments of the Tuscahoma Formation.

The Claiborne aquifer in the study area generally is confined above by an extensive clay layer that is the base if the upper unit of the Tallahatta Formation. Fluctuations in the amount of vertical recharge to the aquifer result in areal and temporal changes in aquifer conditions from confined to unconfined in parts of the study area. Hydraulic conductivity of the aquifer ranges from 3.5 to 7 feet per day. The transmissivity of the aquifer is approximately 50 feet squared per day. Water-level data indicate the potentiometric surface slopes to the south, southeast, and southwest with a gradient of about 87 to 167 feet per mile. The shape of the potentiometric surface and the direction of ground-water flow remains relatively unchanged during high and low water-level periods.

Water levels in the Claiborne aquifer fluctuated by a maximum of 6 feet during the period from January to December 1991. Recharge to the Claiborne aquifer consists of a local and regional flow component. Lateral ground-water flow (regional flow) into the study area is dependent on regional hydraulic controls (pumpage, stream discharge, and rainfall). The rate of lateral movement of ground water is dependent on the hydraulic conductivity of the saturated zone, the hydraulic gradient, and other hydraulic factors, and is considered to be relatively constant. Local recharge enters the ground-water system as rainfall that percolates down to the water table. Annual water-level fluctuations in the Claiborne aquifer indicate that the majority of regional and local recharge occurs in the interstream area with recharge decreasing downslope to the streams. Ground water discharges to Ty Ty Creek and its tributary throughout the year during low and high water-level periods.




Purpose and scope

Description of study area

Land use

Rainfall, evapotranspiration, and runoff

Monitor-well numbering system


Data collection


Geologic units

Tuscahoma Formation

Tallahatta Formation

Undifferentiated overburden

Hydrologic units

Unsaturated zone

Claiborne aquifer

Ground-water movement

Potentiometric surface

Ground-water flow, recharge, and discharge


References cited



This report is available online in pdf format (0.7 MB): USGS WRIR 96-4052 (Opens the PDF file in a new window. )
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