Ground water underlying the Kingston area occurs in one very complex reservoir that consists of two essential parts--a shallow system and a deep system. The shallow system is composed of the unconsolidated deposits in the buried valley. The deep system is composed of bedrock, including anthracite coal, some of which has been removed by mining. Ground-water levels in the shallow system are affected by fluctuations in the stage of the Susquehanna River as far as 1 mile (1.609 kilometers) from the river. At greater distances, ground-water levels are controlled by local stream losses and ground-water conditions outside the study area. Ground-water levels in the deep system are also affected by fluctuations in the stage of the Susquehanna River. Significant vertical movement-of groundwater is probably occurring between the-shallow and deep systems.
Areas of potential basement flooding by ground water are delineated on a depth-to-water map of the shallow system. Eight major problem areas are widely scattered throughout the study area. Although potential for basement flooding decreases as water levels decline seasonally, shallow ground-water levels in parts of the study area fluctuate so little that basement flooding can be a year-round problem.
The low relief of the study area and its proximity to the Susquehanna River favor a naturally high water level in the shallow system. In addition, two other factors probably contribute significantly to the basement flooding in all areas: recovery of water levels in the deep ground-water system following the cessation of deep mining and associated pumping, and land subsidence.
The following nonpumping methods of lowering the high water level in problem areas were evaluated: (1) gravity drainage wells, (2) gravity overflow wells (relief wells), (3) sealing of Toby Creek, and (4) a drainage ditch deep enough to intercept ground water moving into the study area from upgradient sources.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Ground-water conditions in the Kingston area, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, and their effect on basement flooding