The hydrogeologic framework of the North Carolina Coastal Plain aquifer system consists of 10 aquifers separated by 9 confining units. From top to bottom, the aquifers are the surficial aquifer, Yorktown aquifer, Pungo River aquifer, Castle Hayne aquifer, Beaufort aquifer, Peedee aquifer, Black Creek aquifer, upper Cape Fear aquifer, lower Cape Fear aquifer, and Lower Cretaceous aquifer. The uppermost aquifer (the surficial aquifer in most places) is a water-table aquifer, and the bottom of the system is underlain by crystalline bedrock.
The sedimentary deposits forming the aquifers are of Holocene to Cretaceous age and are composed mostly of sand, with lesser amounts of gravel and limestone. The confining units between the aquifers are composed primarily of clay and silt. The thickness of the aquifers ranges from zero along the Fall Line to more than 10,000 feet at Cape Hatteras. Prominent structural features are the increasing easterly homoclinal dip of the sediments and the Cape Fear arch, the axis of which trends in a southeast direction.
Stratigraphic continuity was determined from correlations of 161 geophysical logs along with data from drillers? and geologists? logs. Aquifers were defined by means of these logs as well as water-level and water-quality data and evidence of the continuity of pumping effects. Eighteen hydrogeologic sections depict the correlation of these aquifers throughout the North Carolina Coastal Plain.