A 1,168-foot deep test well was completed at Hunter Army Airfield in the summer of 2009 to investigate the potential of using the Lower Floridan aquifer as a source of water supply to satisfy increased needs as a result of base expansion and increased troop levels. The U.S. Geological Survey conducted hydrologic testing at the test site including flowmeter surveys, packer-slug tests, and aquifer tests of the Upper and Lower Floridan aquifers.
Flowmeter surveys were completed at different stages of well construction to determine the depth and yield of water-bearing zones and to identify confining beds that separate the main producing aquifers. During a survey when the borehole was open to both the upper and lower aquifers, five water-bearing zones in the Upper Floridan aquifer supplied 83.5 percent of the total pumpage, and five water-bearing zones in the Lower Floridan aquifer supplied the remaining 16.5 percent. An upward gradient was indicated from the ambient flowmeter survey: 7.6 gallons per minute of groundwater was detected entering the borehole between 750 and 1,069 feet below land surface, then moved upward, and exited the borehole into lower-head zones between 333 and 527 feet below land surface. During a survey of the completed Lower Floridan well, six distinct water-producing zones were identified; one 17-foot-thick zone at 768-785 feet below land surface yielded 47.9 percent of the total pumpage while the remaining five zones yielded between 2 and 15 percent each.
The thickness and hydrologic properties of the confining unit separating the Upper and Lower Floridan aquifers were determined from packer tests and flowmeter surveys. This confining unit, which is composed of rocks of Middle Eocene age, is approximately 160 feet thick with horizontal hydraulic conductivities determined from four slug tests to range from 0.2 to 3 feet per day. Results of two separate slug tests within the middle confining unit were both 2 feet per day.
Aquifer testing indicated the Upper Floridan aquifer had a transmissivity of 40,000 feet squared per day, and the Lower Floridan aquifer had a transmissivity of 10,000 feet squared per day. An aquifer test conducted on the combined aquifer system, when the test well was open from 333 to 1,112 feet, gave a transmissivity of 50,000 feet squared per day. Additionally, during the 72-hour test of the Lower Floridan aquifer, a drawdown response was observed in the Upper Floridan aquifer wells.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Summary of hydrologic testing of the Floridan aquifer system at Hunter Army Airfield, Chatham County, Georgia