A unified, multidiscipline hypothesis is proposed to explain the anomalous pattern by which chloride has been found in water of the Upper Floridan aquifer in Brunswick, Glynn County, Georgia. Analyses of geophysical, hydraulic, water chemistry, and aquifer test data using the equivalent porous medium (EPM) approach are used to support the hypothesis and to improve further the understanding of the fracture-flow system in this area. Using the data presented herein we show that: (1) four major northeast-southwest trending faults, capable of affecting the flow system of the Upper Floridan aquifer, can be inferred from structural analysis of geophysical data and from regional fault patterns; (2) the proposed faults account for the anomalous northeastward elongation of the potentiometric surface of the Upper Floridan aquifer; (3) the faults breach the nearly impermeable units that confine the Upper Floridan aquifer from below, allowing substantial quantities of water to leak vertically upward; as a result, aquifer transmissivity need not be excessively large (as previously reported) to sustain the heavy, long-term pumpage at Brunswick without developing a steep cone of depression in the potentiometric surface; (4) increased fracturing at the intersection of the faults enhances the development of conduits that allow the upward migration of high-chloride water in response to pumping from the Upper Floridan aquifer; and (5) the anomalous movement of the chloride plume is almost entirely controlled by the faults. ?? 1990.
Additional publication details
Effect of faults on fluid flow and chloride contamination in a carbonate aquifer system