Geohydrology and water quality of stratified-drift aquifers in the Contoocook River basin, south-central New Hampshire

Water-Resources Investigations Report 92-4154




Stratified-drift aquifers discontinuously underlie 121 mi2 (square miles) of the Contoocook River Basin, which has a total drainage area of 776 mi2. Maps of these aquifers, showing water-table configurations, saturated thicknesses, and transmissivities were prepared from well and test-hole data and seismic-refraction profiles. The distribution of stratified-drift aquifers is largely controlled by the Pleistocene glaciation process and the formation of multiple glacial lakes along the main stem of the Contoocook River. Locally, saturated thickness of stratified drift within these aquifers are as great as 200 feet. Estimated transmissivities exceed 8,000 ft2/d (squared feet per day) at three locations and is as high as 22,800 ft2/d at one location. Stratified-drift aquifers that have the greatest potential to supply additional amounts of water include the aquifers at Greenfield-Otter Brook and Hancock-Norway Pond. Potential yields to hypothetical supply wells were estimated for the Greenfield-Otter Brook, Hillsborough-Contoocook River, and Andover- Blackwater River aquifers by use of a analytical ground-water-flow model. The model results predict that the potential yields are greatest from the Greenfield-Otter Brook aquifer, yielding up to 1.85 gallons per day during half-year periods of no recharge. The effective ground-water recharge to the entire basin, which includes recharge to the till, bedrock, and stratified drift, is 13.9 in./yr (inches per year) (521 million gallons per day) on the basis of hydrograph separation of streamflow. The quality of water obtained from 11 observation wells and 10 municipal supply wells is generally suitable for drinking and most other domestic purposes. Ground water in the region has low alkalinity, is slightly acidic, and has low concentrations of dissolved solids. Concentrations of dissolved constituents in ground-water samples were generally less than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's primary and secondary maximum contaminant levels except for elevated iron concentrations (in water from six wells) and manganese concentrations in water from seven wells.

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USGS Numbered Series
Geohydrology and water quality of stratified-drift aquifers in the Contoocook River basin, south-central New Hampshire
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey ; U.S.G.S. Earth Science Information Center, Open-File Reports Section [distributor],
1 v. (various pagings) :ill., maps (some col.) ;28 cm. [PGS - 255 p.]