Streamflow on Long Island is derived principally from shallow groundwater that flows above the deeper regional flow system. The movement of shallow groundwater was studied during 1975-1982 at Connetquot Brook - an undisturbed stream in Connetquot River State Park - in south-central Long Island. The investigation encompassed: (1) field studies of streamflow, groundwater levels, and age of water as indicated by tritium concentrations, and (2) numerical simulation of the shallow flow system to evaluate the hydraulic factors that influence groundwater flow near and beneath the stream. Analysis of water-level data indicates that groundwater flow is essentially horizontal throughout the drainage basin except near and beneath the stream, where it moves upward diagonally and discharges into the streambank at three sites were 1-2 ft higher than stream stage in the and in wells driven into the streambank at three sites were 1-2 ft higher than stream stage in the first 5 ft of penetration. Increases in head, which were detected to depths of 30 ft beneath the streambed, indicate upward movement of water above that depth. Water samples from selected wells were analyzed for tritium concentration to determine the relative age of water to locate the bottom boundary of the shallow flow system. Tritium concentrations indicate that the lower boundary is from 45 to 100 ft below the water table. A two-dimensional cross-sectional flow model of the shallow flow system indicated that: (1) stream width and streambed hydraulic conductivity influence heads mostly within about 50 ft of the stream; (2) the thickness of the shallow flow system influences heads more distant from the stream but has a negligible effect near the stream; and (3) the quantity of water entering the system as recharge from precipitation influences the heads throughout the area. Field measurements of hydraulic head indicate the shallow flow system to extend to about 30 ft below the stream channel. Results of the sensitivity analysis indicate that the thickness of the shallow system has a negligible effect on head distribution beneath the stream. ?? 1989.
Additional publication details
Analysis of the shallow groundwater flow system near Connetqout Brook, Long Island, New York