Hydrology of a 20-square-mile area of dunes along the central Oregon coast was studied. The area is underlain by 80 to 150 feet of Quaternary dune and marine sand which overlies Tertiary marine clay and shale. Ground water for industrial and municipal use is being withdrawn at a rate of 4 million gallons per day. Original plans to withdraw as much as 30 million gallons per day are evidently limited by the prospect of excessive lowering of levels in shallow lakes near the wells, and possibly sea-water intrusion, if water-level gradients are reversed.
At the present stage of development there are 18 production wells, each capable of producing 200-300 gallons per minute from the lower part of the sand deposits. Except for thin layers of silt, clay, and organic matter, the deposits of sand are clean and uniform; horizontal permeability is two orders of magnitude times the vertical permeability.
Because of the low vertical permeability, drawdown cones are not evident in the upper part of the aquifer adjacent to the wells. However, present pumping lowers general water levels in the lakes and the shallow ground-water zone as much as several feet.
A two-layer electric analog model was built to analyze effects of present and projected development as well as any alternate plans. Model results were used to develop curves for short-term prediction of water levels.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Hydrology of the dunes area north of Coos Bay, Oregon