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Hydrogeology and flow of water in a sand and gravel aquifer contaminated by wood-preserving compounds, Pensacola, Florida

Water-Resources Investigations Report 87-4260

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Abstract

The sand and gravel aquifer in southern Escambia County, Florida , is a typical surficial aquifer composed of quartz sands and gravels interbedded locally with silts and clays. Problems of groundwater contamination from leaking surface impoundments are common in surficial aquifers and are a subject of increasing concern and attention. A potentially widespread contamination problem involves organic chemicals from wood-preserving processes. Because creosote is the most extensively used industrial preservative in the United States, an abandoned wood-treatment plant near Pensacola was chosen for investigation. This report describes the hydrogeology and groundwater flow system of the sand and gravel aquifer near the plant. A three-dimensional simulation of groundwater flow in the aquifer was evaluated under steady-state conditions. The model was calibrated on the basis of observed water levels from January 1986. Calibration criteria included reproducing all water levels within the accuracy of the data (one-half contour interval in most cases). Sensitivity analysis showed that the simulations were most sensitive to recharge and vertical leakance of the confining units between layers 1 and 2, and relatively insensitive to changes in hydraulic conductivity and transmissivity and to other changes in vertical leakance. Applications of the results of the calibrated flow model in evaluation of solute transport may require further discretization of the contaminated area, including more sublayers, than were needed for calibration of the groundwater flow system itself. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Hydrogeology and flow of water in a sand and gravel aquifer contaminated by wood-preserving compounds, Pensacola, Florida
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
87-4260
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1988
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
v, 72 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.