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Potentiometric surface and water quality in the Principal Aquifer, Mississippian Plateaus region, Kentucky

Water-Resources Investigations Report 84-4102

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Abstract

The Mississippian Plateaus region is the outcrop area of rocks of Mississippian age which extends as a broad arcuate band around the Western Coal Field in westcentral Kentucky. Much of the area is characterized by plains of low relief containing numerous sinkholes, subsurface drainage, and a low density of surface streams. The principal aquifer consists of a thick sequence of limestones extending downward stratigraphically from the base of the Chesterian Series to the black shales at the top of the Devonian rocks. Well yields range from several gallons per minute to as much as 500 gallons per minute in some karst areas where secondary openings are well developed. The potentiometric map indicates that ground-water movement generally conforms to the surface drainage pattern. The actual direction of movement varies from river basin to river basin. Most water from the principal aquifer is a calcium magnesium bicarbonate type and is generally good relative to current drinking water standards. The lower St Louis Limestone, in places, yields a calcium magnesium sulfate water that is corrosive and has a strong hydrogen sulfide odor. The karst areas of the principal aquifer are vulnerable to contamination because of the well-developed subsurface drainage. Urban areas, industries, and agriculture are sources of contaminants that can be easily flushed into the ground-water system. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Potentiometric surface and water quality in the Principal Aquifer, Mississippian Plateaus region, Kentucky
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
84-4102
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1985
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division,
Description:
v, 45 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.