Geologic and hydrologic investigations by the U.S. Geological Survey have defined stratigraphic and hydraulic anomalies suggestive of faulting within Coastal Plain sediments between the Ogeechee River in east-central Georgia and the Edisto River in west-central South Carolina. Examination of borehole cuttings, cores, and geophysical logs from test wells indicate that Triassic rocks and Upper Cretaceous and lower Tertiary Coastal Plain sediments near the Barnwell-Allendale County line near Millett, South Carolina, are offset by a northeast-trending fault downthrown to the northwest. The location of this suspected Coastal Plain fault generally coincides with the location of an inferred fault in basement rocks as interpreted from aeromagnetic surveys. Apparent vertical offsets range from about 700 feet at the base of Upper Cretaceous sediments to about 20 feet in strata of Late Eocene age. As a result, the Upper Cretaceous Middendorf Formation which directly overlies crystalline and Triassic rocks updip (northwest) of this fault, is absent immediately downdip of the fault. The thickness of Tipper Cretaceous sediments is also sharply reduced from about 700 feet to about 180 feet across the fault.
Sediments of the basal Coastal Plain aquifer are largely truncated by uplifted Triassic rocks at the fault near Millett, South Carolina. Lateral ground-water flow near the Savannah River Is consequently disrupted updip of the fault and ground water is transferred vertically into overlying sediments and possibly into the Savannah River. At several locations, abrupt changes in potentiometric head occur across this fault. Computed transmissivity of the basal Coastal Plain aquifer is also radically reduced downdip of the fault, sharply reversing a downdip trend of rapidly increasing aquifer transmissivity.
Other anomalous potentiometric data along a northeast-trending line between Statesboro, Georgia, and Fairfax, South Carolina, suggest the possibility of similar faulting in correlative geologic units. The location of the suspected fault near Statesboro, Georgia, generally coincides with the eastward extension of the Gulf Trough, a regional potentiometric anomaly in central Georgia.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Effects of Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic faulting on the geology and hydrology of the coastal plain near the Savannah River, Georgia and South Carolina