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

U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Investigations Report 82-4002

by J.V. Brahana and Michael W. Bradley

This report is available as a pdf below


The Central Basin aquifer system is composed of Devonian and Ordovician carbonate and shale rocks. This aquifer occurs west of the Valley and Ridge province and crops out in the Central Basin and the Sequatchie Valley of Tennessee. Ground water in the Central Basin aquifer occurs primarily in solution openings and fractures, and the flow system is generally limited to 300 feet or less below land surface. However, some fracture and minor faults may allow vertical recharge to the underlying Knox Group, which marks the lower boundary of the Central Basin aquifer system. Away from the Central Basin, the upper limit of the Central Basin aquifer system is the Chattanooga Shale, an effective confining unit.

The Central Basin aquifer system, an important source of drinking water, supplies most of the rural domestic and many public supplies of drinking water in the Central Basin and the Sequatchie Valley. Dissolved-solids concentrations often are less than 500 milligrams per liter where the aquifer is part of a dynamic flow system. Dissolved-solids concentrations may reach thousands or tens of thousands of milligrams per liter below the zone of dynamic flow.

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