Three-dimensional steady-state simulation of flow in the sand-and-gravel aquifer, southern Escambia County, Florida

Water-Resources Investigations Report 85-4278




The sand-and-gravel aquifer is the only freshwater aquifer in southern Escambia County, Florida and is the source of public water supply for the area, including the City of Pensacola. The aquifer was simulated by a two-layer, digital model to provide hydrologic information for water resource planning. The lower layer represents the main-producing zone; the upper layer represents all of the aquifer above the main-producing zone including an unconfined zone and discontinuous perched, confined , and confining zones. The model was designed for steady-state simulation and predicts the response of the aquifer (changes in water levels) to groundwater pumping where steady-state conditions have been reached. Input to the model includes matrices representing constant-head nodes, starting head, transmissivity of layer 1, leakance between layers 1 and 2, lateral hydraulic conductivity of layer 2, and altitude of the base layer 2. The sources of water to the model are from recharge by infiltrated precipitation (estimated from base runoff), inflow across boundaries, and induced recharge from river leakance in periods of prolonged groundwater pumping. Model output includes final head and drawdown for each layer and total values for discharge and recharge in the model area. The model was calibrated for 1972 pumping and tested by simulating pumpages during 1939-40, 1958, and 1977. Sensitivity analyses showed water levels in both layers were most sensitive to changes in the recharge matrix and least sensitive to river leakage. Suggestions for further development of the model include subdivision and expansion of the grid, assignment of storage coefficients for transient simulations, more intensive study of the stream-aquifer relations, and consideration of the effects of infiltration basins on recharge. (Author 's abstract)

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Three-dimensional steady-state simulation of flow in the sand-and-gravel aquifer, southern Escambia County, Florida
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey,
v, 149 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.