Effects of urban development on the aquifers in the Memphis area, Tennessee

Water-Resources Investigations Report 82-4024




Ground-water withdrawals from aquifers in the Memphis area average about 190 Mgal/d. Potential problems associated with increases in pumpage and urban development are lowered water levels, contamination of the aquifers, and land subsidence. Long-term water-level declines in the Memphis Sand, the principal artesian aquifer of the area, range from less than 0.1 ft per year near the outcrop area to about 1.8 ft per year near the center of pumping. A 1980 map of the potentiometric map surface shows that small cones of depression around major pumping centers are superimposed on a regional cone. Except for increased pumping lift, few problems are expected from water level declines in the Memphis Sand. At present, there is very little pumpage from other aquifers in the area--the alluvium, the fluvial deposits and the Fort Pillow Sand--and no long-term water level declines are expected unless pumpage is increased significantly. Low concentrations of leachates from waste-disposal sites in the area have been detected in the water table aquifers near these sites, but no indication of contamination of the underlying artesian aquifers has yet been found. Seasonal land-surface elevation changes of less than 0.03 ft have been recorded by an extensometer near the center of the major cone of depression of the Memphis Sand. These changes correlate with seasonal changes in artesian pressure in the Memphis Sand. Over the period of record no significant net change in land-surface elevation has been recorded. (USGS)

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Effects of urban development on the aquifers in the Memphis area, Tennessee
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
iv, 24 p. :ill., maps (1 fold. in pocket) ;29 cm.