Under an interagency contractual agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registration, the U.S. Geological Survey evaluated geologic and hydrogeologic data available for the Industrial Excess Landfill (IEL) site in Uniontown, Ohio. During previous studies, ground-water contaminations was detected in observation wells installed at the site and in residential wells near the site.
Water levels recorded on drillers' logs from 279 wells were used to characterize the regional ground-water flow system in the area of the IEL site. On the basis of the gross lithologic differences between the unconsolidated glacial-drift material and the indurated bedrock, and the inferred differences in their hydraulic properties, the flow system in the area of the IEL site was divided into two regional aquifers: a shallow, unconfined glacial-drift aquifer and a deeper, semiconfined bedrock aquifer. About 33 percent of the drillers' logs were from wells completed in the glacial-drift aquifer, whereas 67 percent were from wells completed in the bedrock aquifer.
A composite potentiometric-surface map of the glacial drift aquifer shows that the IEL site appears to straddle a prominent ground-water ridge that trends northeast-southwest. Ground water flows radially away from this ridge, primarily to the northwest and to the southeast; as a result flow in the glacial-drift aquifer as the IEL site moves in a radial pattern away from the site in all directions. A composite, regional potentiometric-surface map of the bedrock aquifer shows a similar shows a similar elongated ground-water ridge trending northeast-southwest across the north-western corner of the IEL site; however, it does not appear that the IEL site straddles the ground-water ridge in the bedrock potentiometric surface.
As a consequence of the radial-type of flow pattern in the glacial-drift aquifer at the IEL site, the direction of potential off-site movement of a contaminant at the IEL site, This radial type of flow pattern may explain the nonuniform distribution of some of the contaminants detected in observation wells and residential wells, particularly if specific contaminants were not disposed of uniformly across the site.
Available data also indicate a downward flow component within the glacial-drift aquifer, as manifested by a reduction of hydraulic heads with increasing depth of wells near the site. Such downward flow is consistent with the presence of the ground-water ridge, which would serve as a local recharge area within the regional flow system. Consequently, contaminants present at the site will flow both laterally within the local flow patterns and vertically downward within the flow system.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Ground-water levels and flow near the industrial excess landfill, Uniontown, Ohio
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