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Hydrology and simulation of ground-water flow in the Aguadilla to Rio Camuy area, Puerto Rico

Water-Resources Investigations Report 95-4028

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Abstract

The aquifers of the Aguadilla to Rio Camuy area, in the northwestern part of Puerto Rico, are the least developed of those on the north coast, and relatively little information is available concerning the ground-water system. The present study, which was part of a comprehensive appraisal of the ground-water resources of the North Coast Province, attempts to interpret the hydrology of the area within the constraints of available data. The study area consists of an uplifted rolling plain that is 200 to 400 feet above sea level and a heavily forested, karst upland. The only major streams in the area are the Rfo Camuy and the Rio Guajataca. Most water used in the area is obtained from Lago de Guajataca, just south of the study area, and ground-water use is minimal (less than 5 million gallons per day). Sedimentary rocks of Tertiary age, mainly limestone and calcareous clays, comprise the aquifers of the Aguadilla to Rio Camuy area. The rocks generally dip from 4 to 7 degrees to the north, and the total sedimentary rock sequence may be as much as 6,000 feet thick near the Atlantic coast. Baseflows for the Rio Camuy are 58 cubic feet per second near Bayaney and 72 cubic feet per second near Hatillo. The ground-water discharge to the Rio Camuy between these stations is estimated to be 15 cubic feet per second, or 2.6 cubic feet per second per linear mile. The flow of the Rio Guajataca is regulated by the Guajataca Dam at Lago de Guajataca. Ground-water discharge to the Rio Guajataca between the dam and the coast is estimated to be about 17 cubic feet per.second, based on the average ground-water discharge per linear mile estimated for the Rio Camuy. Both water-table and artesian aquifers are present in the Aguadilla to Rio Camuy area; how-ever, most ground water occurs within the watertable aquifer, which was the primary focus of this study. The top of the confining unit, below the water-table aquifer, generally is within the unnamed upper member of the Cibao Formation; however, it is within the Los Puertos Formation in the eastern part of the study area. The water-table aquifer primarily is composed of rocks of the Aymam6n Limestone and the Los Puertos Formation. The estimated saturated thickness of the water-table aquifer ranges from zero at the southern limit of the aquifer to more than 600 feet south of Isabela. Hydraulic conductivity of the Aymam6n Limestone, based on specific-capacity test data for seven wells, ranges from about 1 to about 25 feet per day and averages 7.5 feet per day. Hydraulic conductivity of the Los Puertos Formation, based on specific-capacity test data for four wells, generally was less than 7 feet. per day. The average hydraulic-conductivity value for both the Aymam6n Limestone and the Los Puertos Formation, based on specific-capacity test data, is estimated to be about 6.0 feet per day. These hydraulic-conductivity values are much less than average values for the water-table aquifer reported for other parts of the North Coast Province. Transmissivity values, based on the average hydraulic-conductivity value for the aquifer derived from specific-capacity tests, range from zero to about 4,000 feet squared per day; however, these values were adjusted upward during model calibration. Ground water generally moves from the highlands in the south toward the sea to the north and west, and locally, to streams. A major groundwater divide extends from the southeastern corner of the study area to the northwest, and separates flow north and east into the study area from flow to the southwest toward the Rio Culebrinas. Nearly all recharge to the aquifer is from infiltration of rainfall into the karst uplands. Discharge from the aquifer primarily occurs as leakage to streams and to the sea, and to a lesser degree as flow to wells. A two-layer, three-dimensional, steady-state, numerical model was constructed to simulateground-water flow in the water-table aquifer between Aguadilla and the R/o Camuy area. A basic a

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Hydrology and simulation of ground-water flow in the Aguadilla to Rio Camuy area, Puerto Rico
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
95-4028
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1995
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey ; Earth Science Information Center, Open-File Reports Section [distributor],
Description:
iv, 39 p. :ill. (1 col.), maps ;28 cm.