Loudoun County, Virginia, which is located about 50 km to the west of Washington, DC, was the site of intensive suburban development during the 1980s and 1990s. In the western half of the county, the source of water for domestic use has been from wells drilled into the fractured crystalline bedrock of the Blue Ridge Geologic Province. A comprehensive digital database that contains information on initial yield, location, depth, elevation, and other data for 3651 wells drilled in this 825.5-km2 area was combined with a digital geologic map to form the basis for a study of geologic and temporal controls on water-well yields. Statistical modeling procedures were used to determine that mean yields for the wells were significantly different as a function of structural setting, genetic rock type, and geologic map unit. The Bonferroni procedure then was used to determine which paired comparisons contributed to these significant differences. The data were divided into 15 temporal drilling increments to determine if the time-dependent trends that exist for the Loudoun County data are similar to those discovered in a previous study of water-well yields in the Pinardville 7.5-min quadrangle, New Hampshire. In both regions, trends, which include increasing proportions of very low yield wells and increasing well depths through time, and the counterintuitive result of increasing mean well yields through time, were similar. In addition, a yield-to-depth curve similar to that discovered in the Pinardville quadrangle was recognized in this study. Thus, the temporal model with a feed-forward-loop mechanism to explain the temporal trends in well characteristics proposed for the New Hampshire study appears to apply to western Loudoun County. ?? 2001 International Association for Mathematical Geology.
Additional publication details
Characteristics of water-well yields in part of the blue ridge geologic Province in Loudoun County, Virginia