Potential effects of deepening the St. Johns River navigation channel on saltwater intrusion in the surficial aquifer system, Jacksonville, Florida
Simulated results for modeled conditions indicate that dredging will have little to no effect on salinity variations in areas upstream of currently proposed dredging activities. Results also indicate little to no effect in any part of the surficial aquifer system along the cross section near River Mile 11 or in the water-table unit along the cross section near River Mile 8. Salinity increases of up to 4.0 parts per thousand (ppt) were indicated by the model incorporating hydrogeologic conceptualizations with both a semiconfining bed over the limestone unit and a preferential flow layer within the limestone along the cross section near River Mile 8. Simulated increases in salinity greater than 0.2 ppt in this area were generally limited to portions of the limestone unit within about 75 feet of the channel on the north side of the river.
The potential for saltwater to move from the river channel to the surficial aquifer system is limited, but may be present in areas where the head gradient from the aquifer to the river is small or negative and the salinity of the river is sufficient to induce density-driven advective flow into the aquifer. In some areas, simulated increases in salinity were exacerbated by the presence of laterally extensive semiconfining beds in combination with a high-conductivity preferential flow zone in the limestone unit of the surficial aquifer system and an upgradient source of saline water, such as beneath the salt marshes near Fanning Island. The volume of groundwater pumped in these areas is estimated to be low; therefore, saltwater intrusion will not substantially affect regional water supply, although users of the surficial aquifer system east of Dames Point along the northern shore of the river could be affected. Proposed dredging operations pose no risk to salinization of the Floridan aquifer system; in the study area, the intermediate confining unit ranges in thickness from more than 300 to about 500 feet and provides sufficient hydraulic separation between the surficial and Floridan aquifer systems.
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Title||Potential effects of deepening the St. Johns River navigation channel on saltwater intrusion in the surficial aquifer system, Jacksonville, Florida|
|Series title||Scientific Investigations Report|
|Publisher||U.S. Geological Survey|
|Publisher location||Reston, VA|
|Contributing office(s)||Florida Water Science Center|
|Description||viii, 34 p.|
|Other Geospatial||St. Johns River Navigation Channel|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|