A hydrogeological study was conducted in Potsdam sandstones on the international border between Canada (Quebec) and the USA (New York). Two sandstone formations, arkose and conglomerate (base) and well-cemented quartz arenite (upper), underlie the study area and form the major regional aquifer unit. Glacial till, littoral sand and gravel, and marine silt and clay discontinuously overlie the aquifer. In both sandstone formations, sub-horizontal bedding planes are ubiquitous and display significant hydraulic conductivities that are orders of magnitude more permeable than the intact rock matrix. Aquifer tests demonstrate that the two formations have similar bulk hydrologic properties, with average hydraulic conductivities ranging from 2 ?? 10-5 to 4 ?? 10-5 m/s. However, due to their different lithologic and structural characteristics, these two sandstones impose rather different controls on groundwater flow patterns in the study area. Flow is sustained through two types of fracture networks: sub-horizontal, laterally extensive fractures in the basal sandstone, where hydraulic connectivity is very good horizontally but very poor vertically and each of the water-bearing bedding planes can be considered as a separate planar two-dimensional aquifer unit; and the more fractured and vertically jointed system found in the upper sandstone that promotes a more dispersed, three-dimensional movement of groundwater. ?? Springer-Verlag 2007.
Additional publication details
Developing conceptual hydrogeological model for Potsdam sandstones in southwestern Quebec, Canada