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A regional ground-water-quality assessment of the Delmarva Peninsula was conducted as a pilot study for the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program. The study focused on the surficial aquifer and used both existing data and new data collected between 1988 and 1991. The new water samples were analyzed for major ions, nutrients, radon, volatile organic compounds, and a suite of herbicides and insecticides commonly used on corn, soybeans, and small grains. Samples also were collected from wells completed in deeper, confined aquifers and from selected streams, and analyzed for most of these constituents. The study employed a multi-scale network design. Regional networks were chosen to provide broad geographic coverage of the study area and to ensure that the major hydrogeologic settings of the surficial aquifer were adequately represented. Both the existing data and the data from samples collected during the study showed that agricultural activities had affected the quality of water in the surficial aquifer over most of the Peninsula.
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Water-quality assessment of the Delmarva Peninsula, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia; results of investigations, 1987-91