Since 1984, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been mapping the altitude and configuration of the potentiometric surface in Chester County as part of an ongoing cooperative program to measure and describe the water resources of the county. These maps can be used to determine the general direction of ground-water flow and are frequently referenced by municipalities and developers to evaluate ground-water conditions for water supply and resource-protection requirements.
For this study, the potentiometric surface was mapped for an area in south-central Chester County. The northern part of the map includes portions of Highland, East Fallowfield, Londonderry, and West Marlborough Townships and South Coatesville and Modena Boroughs. The southern part of the map includes portions of Londonderry, West Marlborough, Penn, London Grove, and New Garden Townships and West Grove and Avondale Boroughs. The study area is mostly underlain by metamorphic rocks of the Glenarm Supergroup including Peters Creek Schist, Octoraro Phyllite, Wissahickon Schist, Cockeysville Mrable, and Setters Quartzite; and by pegmatite, mafic gneiss, felsic gneiss, and diabase. Ground water is obtained from these bedrock formations by wells that intercept fractures.
The altitude and configuration of the potentiometric surface was contoured from water levels measured on different dates in available wells during May through July 2006 and from the altitude of springs and perennial streams. Topography was used as a guide for contouring so that the altitude of the potentiometric surface was inferred nowhere to be higher than the land surface. The potentiometric surface shown on this map is an approximation of the water table. The altitude of the actual potentiometric surface may differ from the water table, especially in areas where wells are completed in a semi-confined zone or have long open intervals that reflect the composite hydraulic head of multiple water-yielding fractures. A composite head may differ from the potentiometric-surface altitude, particularly beneath hilltops and valleys where vertical hydraulic gradients are significant.