Hydrogeology and paths of flow in the carbonate bedrock aquifer, northwestern Indiana

Journal of the American Water Resources Association



The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is assessing the ground.water resources of the carbonate bedrock aquifers in Indiana and Ohio as part of their Regional Aquifer Systems Analysis program. Part of this assessment includes the determination of unknown aspects of the hydraulic characteristics, boundaries, and flow paths of the carbonate aquifer. To accomplish this, the USGS drilled three wells through the carbonate aquifer near the Kankakee River in northwestern Indiana. Geophysical logs were used to help determine depths and thicknesses for testing and to help describe geology at the three wells. Packer tests were used to determine direction of ground-water flow and to provide data for an analysis of the distribution of transmissivity in the carbonate aquifer.

Transmissivity of the carbonates is associated with two physical characteristics of the rocks: fractures and interconnected porosity. Almost all of the transmissivity is derived from horizontal fracturing; however, only a few of the fractures present in the carbonate are transmissive. Some transmissivity is associated with a zone of fossiliferous, vuggy dolomite, which yields water from the rock matrix. Most of the transmissivity is associated with large fractures and solution crevices in the upper 30 feet of the bedrock; less transmissivity is associated with the deeper vuggy reef material, even where extensively fractured. Transmissivity of individual fractures and fossiliferous zones ranges from 300 to 27,000 feet squared per day. The aquifer bottom is defined by a lack of transmissive fractures and an increased shale content near the contact of the Silurian and Ordovician sections.

Water-level data from the three wells indicate that flow is horizontal at well site 1 north of the Kankakee River, upward at well site 2 near the river, and downward at well site 3 south of the river. Most of the flow occurs in the upper part of the carbonate bedrock where fracturing and solution-enlarged crevices are most developed. Water levels indicate the the Kankakee River is a hydrologic boundary for the regional carbonate bedrock aquifer.


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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Hydrogeology and paths of flow in the carbonate bedrock aquifer, northwestern Indiana
Series title Journal of the American Water Resources Association
DOI 10.1111/j.1752-1688.1994.tb03284.x
Volume 30
Issue 2
Year Published 1994
Language English
Publisher Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Contributing office(s) Indiana Water Science Center
Description 41 p.
First page 205
Last page 218
Country United States
State Indiana
Other Geospatial Kankakee River
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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