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Hydrogeologic framework and geochemistry of the intermediate aquifer system in parts of Charlotte, De Soto, and Sarasota counties, Florida

Water-Resources Investigations Report 2001-4015

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Abstract

The hydrogeologic framework underlying the 600-square-mile study area in Charlotte, De Soto, and Sarasota Counties, Florida, consists of the surficial aquifer system, the intermediate aquifer system, and the Upper Floridan aquifer. The hydrogeologic framework and the geochemical processes controlling ground-water composition were evaluated for the study area. Particular emphasis was given to the analysis of hydrogeologic and geochemical data for the intermediate aquifer system. Flow regimes are not well understood in the intermediate aquifer system; therefore, hydrogeologic and geochemical information were used to evaluate connections between permeable zones within the intermediate aquifer system and between overlying and underlying aquifer systems. Knowledge of these connections will ultimately help to protect ground-water quality in the intermediate aquifer system. The hydrogeology was interpreted from lithologic and geophysical logs, water levels, hydraulic properties, and water quality from six separate well sites. Water-quality samples were collected from wells located along six ground-water flow paths and finished at different depth intervals. The selection of flow paths was based on current potentiometric-surface maps. Ground-water samples were analyzed for major ions; field parameters (temperature, pH, specific conductance, and alkalinity); stable isotopes (deuterium, oxygen-18, and carbon-13); and radioactive isotopes (tritium and carbon-14). The surficial aquifer system is the uppermost aquifer, is unconfined, relatively thin, and consists of unconsolidated sand, shell, and limestone. The intermediate aquifer system underlies the surficial aquifer system and is composed of clastic sediments interbedded with carbonate rocks. The intermediate aquifer system is divided into three permeable zones, the Tamiami/Peace River zone (PZ1), the Upper Arcadia zone (PZ2), and the Lower Arcadia zone (PZ3). The Tamiami/Peace River zone (PZ1) is the uppermost zone and is the thinnest and generally, the least productive zone in the intermediate aquifer system. The Upper Arcadia zone (PZ2) is the middle zone and productivity is generally higher than the overlying permeable zone. The Lower Arcadia zone (PZ3) is the lowermost permeable zone and is the most productive zone in the intermediate aquifer system. The intermediate aquifer system is underlain by the Upper Floridan aquifer, which consists of a thick, stratified sequence of limestone and dolomite. The Upper Floridan aquifer is the most productive aquifer in the study area; however, its use is generally restricted because of poor water quality. Interbedded clays and fine-grained clastics separate the aquifer systems and permeable zones. The hydraulic properties of the three aquifer systems are spatially variable. Estimated trans-missivity and horizontal hydraulic conductivity varies from 752 to 32,900 feet squared per day and from 33 to 1,490 feet per day, respectively, for the surficial aquifer system; from 47 to 5,420 feet squared per day and from 2 to 102 feet per day, respectively, for the Tamiami/Peace River zone (PZ1); from 258 to 24,633 feet squared per day and from 2 to 14 feet per day, respectively, for the Upper Arcadia zone (PZ2); from 766 to 44,900 feet squared per day and from 10 to 201 feet per day, respectively, for the Lower Arcadia zone (PZ3); and from 2,350 to 7,640 feet squared per day and from 10 to 41 feet per day, respectively, for the Upper Floridan aquifer. Confining units separating the aquifer systems have leakance coefficients estimated to range from 2.3 x 10-5 to 5.6 x 10-3 feet per day per foot. Strata composing the confining unit separating the Upper Floridan aquifer from the intermediate aquifer system are substantially more permeable than confining units separating the permeable zones in the intermediate aquifer system or separating the surficial aquifer and intermediate aquifer systems. In Charlotte, Sarasota, and western De Soto Counties, hydraulic

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Hydrogeologic framework and geochemistry of the intermediate aquifer system in parts of Charlotte, De Soto, and Sarasota counties, Florida
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
2001-4015
Edition:
-
Year Published:
2001
Language:
ENGLISH
Description:
74 p.