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Continuing efforts to improve water quality in Onondaga Lake, New York and its tributaries require an understanding of how the natural, brine-filled aquifer in the Onondaga Trough (valley) affects the freshwater in Onondaga Lake. The city of Syracuse, locally known as 'The Salt City,' was built around the salt springs, which issued from a valley-fill aquifer that contains a highly concentrated brine (up to six times as salty as sea water), but little is known about the source of the brine, its movement within the glacial sediments that partly fill the Onondaga Trough, and the interaction of the aquifer and the lake. This report summarizes initial data-collection and analysis efforts in the 25-mile long Onondaga Trough that extends from near Tully, N.Y., to the outlet of Onondaga Lake and presents results of some initial chemical and geographic analyses that will lead to the development of a mathematical ground-water-flow model of the valley-fill aquifer.
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Hydrogeology of the Valley-Fill Aquifer in the Onondaga Trough, Onondaga County, New York