Altitude, depth, and thickness of the Galena-Platteville Bedrock Unit in the subcrop area of Illinois and Wisconsin

Water-Resources Investigations Report 97-4054-C

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The Galena-Platteville bedrock unit is a carbonate deposit of Ordovician age, composed of the Galena and Platteville Groups in Illinois and the Sinnippee Group in Wisconsin. It is the uppermost bedrock unit (subcrop) in most of northern Illinois and southern and eastern Wisconsin. The subcrop area is shaded in figure 1 of sheet 1 (Batten and others, 1997). The unit is predominately dolomite, with limestone in some areas, and has a weathered surface. Across the subcrop area, the hydrologic characteristics of the bedrock unit vary substantially. The bedrock unit may be either a confining unit or an aquifer. In areas where the Galena-Platteville bedrock unit is an aquifer, the unit is a dependable source of water for many private wells and some municipal-water-supply systems. Ground water in the Galena-Platteville bedrock aquifer is susceptible to contamination because the bedrock unit is near land surface in much of the study area, and the fractures in the unit allow rapid movement of water providing limited capacity to attenuate contaminants. The subcrop (study) area covers approximately 7,850 square miles in northern Illinois and Wisconsin. In the study area, volatile organic compounds and other contaminants have been detected in the aquifer at various sites (Mills, 1993; Kay and others, 1994). Many sources of contaminants, including landfills and industrial facilities, are known or suspected. In order to determine the possible effects of contamination on the ground-water supply, an understanding of the regional hydrogeologic framework of the Galena-Platteville bedrock unit is needed.

Published and unpublished map and point data describing the geologic properties of the Galena-Platteville bedrock unit are available from many sources. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), has selected and compiled a large portion of the available data to create computer data bases and maps. The objective of this effort is to compile and publish these data in a series of reports (U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Reports (WRIR) 974054-A, WRIR 97-4054-B, WRIR 97-4054-C). This is the third in that series of reports. The report describes the altitude, thickness, and depth from land surface of the subcrop area of the Galena-Platteville bedrock unit.

The report series will enable investigators involved in site-specific studies within the subcrop area to understand the regional geologic framework of the unit and to find additional reference sources. This report consists of four sheets that show the altitude (sheet 1), depth from land surface (sheet 2), total thickness (sheet 3), and location of altitude data (sheet 4) of the lithologic units that constitute the Galena-Platteville bedrock unit within the subcrop area. The sheets also show major known geologic features within the Galena-Platteville study area in Illinois and Wisconsin. A geographic information system (GIS) was used to generate data layers (coverages) from point data and from published and unpublished contour maps at various scales and detail. Standard GIS procedures were used to change the coverages into the maps shown on the sheets presented in this report. A list of references for the data used to prepare the maps is provided. 

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Altitude, depth, and thickness of the Galena-Platteville Bedrock Unit in the subcrop area of Illinois and Wisconsin
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
Wisconsin Water Science Center
4 Sheets: 34.00 x 47.77 inches smaller
United States
Illinois, Wisconsin
Online Only (Y/N):
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