Hydrogeology and soil gas at J-Field, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland

Water-Resources Investigations Report 92-4087




Disposal of chemical warfare agents, munitions, and industrial chemicals in J-Field, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, has contaminated soil, groundwater and surface water. Seven exploratory borings and 38 observation wells were drilled to define the hydrogeologic framework at J-Field and to determine the type, extent, and movement of contaminants. The geologic units beneath J-Field consist of Coastal Plain sediments of the Cretaceous Patapsco Formation and Pleistocene Talbot Formation. The Patapsco Formation contains several laterally discontinuous aquifers and confining units. The Pleistocene deposits were divided into 3 hydrogeologic units--a surficial aquifer, a confining unit, and a confined aquifer. Water in the surficial aquifer flows laterally from topographically high areas to discharge areas in marshes and streams, and vertically to the underlying confined aquifer. In offshore areas, water flows from the deeper confined aquifers upward toward discharge areas in the Gunpowder River and Chesapeake Bay. Analyses of soil-gas samples showed high relative-flux values of chlorinated solvents, phthalates, and hydrocarbons at the toxic-materials disposal area, white-phosphorus disposal area, and riot-control-agent disposal area. The highest flux values were located downgradient of the toxic materials and white phosphorus disposal areas, indicating that groundwater contaminants are moving from source areas beneath the disposal pits toward discharge points in the marshes and estuaries. Elevated relative-flux values were measured upgradient and downgradient of the riot-control agent disposal area, and possibly result from soil and (or) groundwater contamination.

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USGS Numbered Series
Hydrogeology and soil gas at J-Field, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey ; U.S.G.S.--ESIC, Open-File Reports Section [distributor],
vii, 83 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.