A study was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to define the geohydrology and contaminant distribution at a Superfund site near Byron, Illinois. Geologic units of interest beneath the site are the St. Peter Sandstone; the shale, dolomite and sandstone of the Glenwood Formation; the dolomite of the Platteville and Galena Groups; and sands, gravels, tills and loess of Quaternary age. The hydrologic units of interest are the unconsolidated aquifer, Galena-Platteville aquifer, Harmony Hill Shale semiconfining unit, and the St. Peter aquifer.
Ground-water flow generally is from the upland areas northwest and southwest toward the Rock River. Water levels indicate the potential for downward ground-water flow in most of the area except near the Rock River. The Galena-Platteville aquifer can be subdivided into four zones characterized by differing water-table altitudes, hydraulic gradients, and vertical and horizontal permeabilities. Geophysical, hydraulic, and aquifer-test data indicate that lithology, stratigraphy, and tectonic structures affect the distribution of primary and secondary porosity of dolomite in the Galena and Platteville Groups, which affects the permeability distribution in the Galena-Platteville aquifer.
The distribution of cyanide, chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons, and aromatic hydrocarbons in ground water indicates that these contaminants are derived from multiple sources in the study area. Contaminants in the northern part of this area migrate northwest to the Rock River. Contaminants in the central and southern parts of this area appear to migrate to the southwest in the general direction of the Rock River.