Surficial Aquifer Studies

Science Center Objects

The series of surficial aquifer studies were completed to evaluate the unconfined aquifer system of the NJ Coastal Plain for use as a potential source of water. As the demand for water in the State increases and the restrictions continue on the use of water from certain confined aquifers, withdrawals on the unconfined aquifer system are expected to increase. Detailed study of the unconfined aquifer system provides a better understanding of the groundwater/surface water interaction within the basin and a basis for future water-resource management decisions. 

Each surficial aquifer study compiles a wide range of hydrologic information on a major drainage basin or series of smaller drainage basins. Nine studies have been completed in the NJ Coastal Plain. The studies provide information on the land use, surficial geology, long-term water-level data, and hydraulic properties of the aquifer. A water-table map is produced from measurements from hundreds of wells and stream sites. Water-quality data for both groundwater and surface-water sites is assembled. Stream discharge data and various statistics on mean discharge and base flow are provided for the continuous-record streamflow-gaging stations. Low-flow correlations and flow durations curves are presented. Precipitation, evapotranspiration, population data, and water use data are complied. Finally, a water budget is calculated. The groundwater budgets developed by the Surficial Aquifer Studies became the conceptual model on which subsequent groundwater-flow models were based.

A comparison table of the ground-water budgets of all of the study areas is available to show the variations in parameters based on the location in the coastal plain. Individual budgets can be accessed below.