The surficial aquifer system is a major source of freshwater in Palm Beach County. In 1982, public supply withdrawals from the aquifer system totaled 33,543 million gallons, 77.5% of total public supply withdrawals. To evaluate the aquifer system and its geologic framework, a cooperative study with Palm Beach County was begun in 1982 by the U.S. Geological Survey. The surficial aquifer system in Palm Beach County is composed primarily of sand, sandstone, shell, silt, calcareous clay (marl), and limestone deposited during the Pleistocene and Pliocene epochs. In the western two-thirds of Palm Beach County, sediments in the aquifer system are poorly consolidated sand, shell, and sandy limestone. Owing to interspersed calcareous clays and silt and very poorly sorted materials, permeabilities in this zone of the aquifer system are relatively low. Two other zones of the aquifer system are found in the eastern one-third of the county where the sediments are appreciably more permeable than in the west due to better sorting and less silt and clay content. The location of more detailed lithologic logs for wells in these sections, along with data from nearby wells, allowed enhanced interpretation and depiction of the lithology which had previously been generalized. The most permeable zone of the aquifer system in this area is characterized by highly developed secondary porosity where infiltrating rainwater and solution by groundwater have removed calcitic-cementing materials from the sediments to produce interconnected cavities. Increased permeability in the aquifer system is generally coincident with the eastern boundary of the overlying organic soils and Lake Flirt Marl. Lithologic logs of wells in Palm Beach County indicate that sediments forming the aquifer system were deposited directly on the erosional surface of the Hawthorn Formation in some areas. In other locations in the county, lithologic logs indicate that the base of the aquifer system was formed by fluvial deposits containing erosional materials from the Tamiami and Hawthorn Formations and Caloosahatchee Marl. (Lantz-PTT)
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Lithology and base of the surficial aquifer system, Palm Beach County, Florida
Water-Resources Investigations Report
1 map : col. ; 32 x 37 cm., on sheet 62 x 89 cm., folded in envelope 31 x 23 cm.