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Altitude of potentiometric surface, fall 1985, and historic water- level changes in the Memphis aquifer in western Tennessee

Water-Resources Investigations Report 88-4180

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Abstract

Recharge to the Memphis aquifer of Tertiary age is from precipitation on the outcrop, which forms a broad belt across western Tennessee, or by downward infiltration of water from the overlying fluvial deposits of Tertiary and Quaternary age and alluvium of Quaternary age. In the outcrop-recharge belts, where the Memphis aquifer is under water-table conditions, the potentiometric surface is complex and generally resembles the topography. To the west of the outcrop-recharge belt where the Memphis aquifer is confined, the potentiometric surface gently slopes westward, and the water moves slowly in that direction. A major cone of depression in the potentiometric surface in the Memphis area is the result of long-term (1986-present) pumping at municipal and industrial well fields. Water levels in the Memphis aquifer have declined at average rates ranging from less than 0.1 to 1.3 ft/year during the period 1928-85. The largest declines have been in the Memphis area where withdrawals averaged about 191 million gal/day in 1985. Near the center of the major cone of depression in the Memphis area water levels ceased to decline in about 1975, and the center of the cone essentially has stabilized. Away from the center of the cone, water levels are still declining at a low rate, and the cone is still expanding as a result of the long-term effects of pumping. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Altitude of potentiometric surface, fall 1985, and historic water- level changes in the Memphis aquifer in western Tennessee
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
88-4180
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1990
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
iii, 8 p. :ill., maps (1 col.) ;28 cm.