Detailed geologic mapping of aquifer recharge areas in the upper coastal plain of southwest Georgia
Cocker, Mark D.
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Detailed geologic mapping on a scale of 1:24,000 has better defined the recharge areas of the Upper Floridan, Claiborne, Clayton and Cretaceous aquifers between the Flint River and the Chattachoochee River. Mapping over an eight year period that covered twenty-four 7.5” quadrangles was funded, in part, by the U.S. Geological Survey’s STATEMAP program. In addition to classical field mapping, interpretive geologic maps of each quadrangle were derived and developed as GIS coverages. Field observations suggest the aquifer recharge areas are more complex than previous studies of ideal geologic sections. Several periods of extensive weathering and erosion in the geologic record, particularly in the current recharge areas of the Upper Floridan, Claiborne, Clayton and Cretaceous aquifers, have resulted in removal of portions of the stratigraphic units that host these aquifers, removal of portions of the confining units, and adversely altered the porosity and permeability of the updip portions of these aquifers. Multiple episodes of paleo-groundwater movement recorded as cross-cutting alteration patterns in outcrops may further degrade optimal aquifer recharge in these areas. Previously unrecorded folding during the Tertiary may alter groundwater flow patterns, also.