Unlined hazardous-waste disposal sites at the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina, are located near drinking-water supply wells that tap the Castle Hayne aquifer. Hydrogeologic and water-quality data were collected near 2 of these sites from 12 monitoring wells installed in May through June 1987.
Near the northernmost landfill site, differences in hydraulic head between the surficial, intermediate Yorktown, and Castle Hayne aquifers indicate a potential for migration of contaminants downward into the intermediate Yorktown and Castle Hayne aquifers. Movement would be impeded, however, by two confining units of silty sand to sandy clay that separate these aquifers. Geophysical and lithologic data show the upper confining unit to be approximately 26 feet thick near this landfill.
Near the southernmost landfill, these confining units are thin and discontinuous in an area that coincides with the location of a buried paleochannel. Static water-level data collected in this area indicate that both the Castle Hayne and Yorktown aquifers discharge into the surficial aquifer, minimizing the potential for downward contaminant movement. Ground water in the surficial aquifer at both landfills moves laterally away from nearby drinking-water supply wells and toward Slocum Creek, a tributary of the Neuse River.
Concentrations of organic compounds and trace inorganic constituents included on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency?s list of priority pollutants were determined for water samples from the surficial and Yorktown aquifers. High concentrations of two purgeable organic compounds, trichloroethylene and 1,2-dichloroethene (4,600 and 4,800 micrograms per liter, respectively), were detected in water samples collected from the surficial aquifer near the southernmost landfill; much smaller concentrations of trichloroethylene and 1,2-dichloroethene were detected in samples from wells in the Yorktown aquifer (up to 16 and 12 micrograms per liter, respectively). These compounds may have migrated into the Yorktown aquifer from the surficial aquifer during periods of pumping from nearby drinking-water supply wells if the pumping were sufficient to reverse the hydraulic head between these aquifers. Only trace amounts of organic compounds were detected in the surficial and Yorktown aquifers near the northernmost landfill. Trace metals were detected in most of the wells sampled near both landfills, but none exceeded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency drinking-water standards except for iron and manganese. Highest concentrations of priority pollutant metals detected were for zinc (60 micrograms per liter) and chromium (36 micrograms per liter).
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Hydrogeologic, water-level, and water-quality data from monitoring wells at the US Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Geological Survey ;
U.S. Geological Survey, Books and Open-File Reports Section [distributor],