Detailed Aquifer Mapping of the Oneonta Area Otsego and Delaware Counties, New York

Science Center Objects

Introduction The City of Oneonta and surrounding area is the major population center in Otsego County, N.Y. and home to two colleges (SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College). The public water supply draws on both surface-water and groundwater sources and serves 15,954 people in the City of Oneonta and parts of the surrounding Town of Oneonta (City of Oneonta, 2013). The remaining population uses dom...

Introduction

The City of Oneonta and surrounding area is the major population center in Otsego County, N.Y. and home to two colleges (SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College). The public water supply draws on both surface-water and groundwater sources and serves 15,954 people in the City of Oneonta and parts of the surrounding Town of Oneonta (City of Oneonta, 2013). The remaining population uses domestic wells for water supply. The City is located in a section of Susquehanna River valley that includes confluences with three other major valleys: those of Charlotte Creek, Schenevus Creek, and Otego Creek. The study area covers 112 mi2 and includes the lower 2 to 5 miles of each of these valleys.

 The valley-fill deposits and groundwater resources of this area have only been mapped and evaluated as part of regional compilations such as Hollyday (1969), Randall (1972, 2001), MacNish and Randall (1982), Cadwell and Dineen (1987). Fleisher (1991, 1993, for example) has done extensive work on the glacial geology of the area, but no 1:24,000 scale maps have been published.

Objective

The objective of this study is to define the extent of the valley-fill aquifers and the hydrogeologic framework of the four valleys that converge in the Oneonta area and to delineate areas of thin (or absent) and thick till in the adjacent uplands. 

 Relevance and Benefits

 

This aquifer mapping project will present detailed hydrogeologic information for an area with only small-scale published surficial maps and limited hydrogeologic framework compilation. The availability of these data in an electronic format at 1:24,000 scale will ensure that State, county, and local water-resource managers have access to the locations and extents of valley-fill aquifers in this region. This project will advance the knowledge of the regional hydrogeology and provide regionally consistent aquifer mapping.

 Approach

The spatial extent of the valley-fill aquifer system and its hydrogeologic framework will be primarily delineated through interpretation of existing data, including soil-survey maps, topographic maps, lidar or 10-meter elevation data, and selected well records. Limited fieldwork will include verification of deposits at sand-and-gravel pits or streambanks and passive-seismic or possibly other geophysical surveys to estimate depth to bedrock or the nature of sediments in areas lacking well data.

 Existing hydrogeologic information and interpretations will be obtained from published USGS reports, journal articles, consultants’ reports, Master’s theses and Doctoral dissertations, well records from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Water Well Permit Program, well records in the USGS NWIS database, and test borings and seismic-refraction studies from the New York State Department of Transportation. The USGS GWSI database in New York will be updated with new well data acquired during the study.  

Investigation will include the following sequential tasks:

        1.   Compile necessary data, including Natural Resources Conservation Service SSURGO soils data, lidar imagery, published reports, unpublished surficial geologic maps, and well records from the NYSDEC Water Well database, the USGS NWIS database, and well data from other State and County agencies.

        2.   Assemble well appendix.

        3.   Develop a surficial geologic map of the study area based on the above data compilation.

        4..  Delineate the boundary of the valley-fill aquifer system at 1:24,000 scale within the valley segment, including contiguous deposits of alluvium, outwash, and ice-contact sand and gravel. Glaciofluvial terraces, although thinly saturated, act as aquifer recharge areas and are included as part of the valley-fill aquifer.   

       5.  Create map layer of approximate extent of confining units in the valleys (lacustrine and possibly till units).

       6.  Construct 5 to 8 geologic sections that depict the subsurface geology of the valley-fill aquifer system within the study area.

       7.  Perform limited passive seismic or other geophysical surveys as needed to fill data gaps.

       8.  Write a brief summary report, which will include narrative text for the map product.

       9.  Develop GIS datasets of the map attributes listed above along with wells and test borings.

     10.   Compile metadata for newly created GIS dataset and document methods used to produce the dataset.

     11.  Conduct the draft report though the USGS report review process and respond to colleague, editorial, and Specialist review comments. 

     12.  .Publish approved report as a web-only release.

References

Cadwell, D.H., and Dineen, R.J., 1987, Surficial geologic map of New York – Hudson-Mohawk Sheet: New York State Museum Geological Survey, Map and Chart Series no. 40, 1:250,000.

Fleisher, P.J., 1991, Active and stagnant ice retreat: deglaciation of central New York: in Eberts, J.R., ed., New York State Geological Association Field Trip Guidebook, 63rd Annual Meeting, October 18-20, Oneonta, New York, p. 307-371.

Fleisher, P.J., 1993, Pleistocene sediment sources, debris transport mechanisms, and depositional environments: a Bering Glacier model applied to the northeastern Appalachian Plateau deglaciation, central New York: Geomorphology, v. 6, p. 331-355.

Hollyday, E.F., 1969, An appraisal of the ground-water resources of the Susquehanna River basin in New York State: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 69-128, 97 p., 1 pl.

MacNish, R.D., and Randall, A.D., 1982, Stratified-drift aquifers in the Susquehanna River basin, New York: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Bulletin 75, 68 p.

Randall, A.D., 1972, Records of wells and test borings in the Susquehanna River basin, New York: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Bulletin 69, 92 p.

Randall, A.D., 2001, Hydrogeologic framework of stratified-drift aquifers in the glaciated northeastern United States: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1415–B, 179 p., 1 pl.

Project
Location by County

Otsego County, NY, Delaware County, NY