Detailed Aquifer Mapping in Wayne County, New York, The Fairport-Lyons Channel Aquifer

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Introduction Detailed mapping of the glacial aquifer within the buried Fairport-Lyons bedrock channel in southern Wayne County, N.Y. is the latest study in the cooperative Detailed Aquifer Mapping Program between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). The aim of the program is to map the extent of glacial aquifers in New Yo...

 

Introduction

Detailed mapping of the glacial aquifer within the buried Fairport-Lyons bedrock channel in southern Wayne County, N.Y. is the latest study in the cooperative Detailed Aquifer Mapping Program between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). The aim of the program is to map the extent of glacial aquifers in New York State at a scale of 1:24,000. This information is used by NYSDEC Division of Water and others for delineation of groundwater contributing areas, assessing potential threats to aquifers from both point and non-point sources of pollution, responding to contamination from spills or leaks from underground storage facilities, and providing information to assess the need to permit new or expanded public water supplies. The selection of study areas are based on NYSDEC program needs.

 

Study Area

Many of the communities (fig. 1) that were founded along the New York State Barge Canal (Erie Canal) in southern Wayne County during the early nineteenth century have experienced increased development and population growth during the last 30 years. The sources of water for the villages, non-municipal communities, and individual homeowners in southern Wayne County (table 1) are mostly from wells that tap a braided network of outwash sand and gravel aquifers deposited in the interdrumlin areas of a large drumlin field in this area. The hydrogeologic setting of this aquifer system is different from those previously studied in New York because sand and gravel deposits within drumlin fields are very uncommon, and few hydrogeologic investigations have been completed in this type of geologic setting.

The study area (fig. 1) includes the villages of Macedon, Palmyra, Newark, and Lyons in southern Wayne County, NY. The Fairport-Lyons channel (Griswold, 1951) is a west-east oriented bedrock channel that was once the outlet for glacial Lake Dawson, which occupied the Genesee Valley near Rochester during the Pleistocene. Glacial meltwater eroded this shallow channel into the underlying bedrock and the channel was subsequently filled with glacial outwash. This outwash provides the only large supplies of groundwater in Wayne County under both confined and unconfined conditions. Well yields as high as 1,200 gal/min have been reported for an industrial supply well (Griswold, 1951). Crain (1974) reported that much of the Fairport-Lyons channel is generally shallow, however, in three areas – just east of Macedon, at Newark, and at Lyons-- there is sufficient aquifer thickness to provide groundwater yields of up to 4 Mgal/day/mi2, in part due to induced infiltration from the New York State Barge Canal. However, little is known about the extent, stratigraphy, thickness, and hydraulic properties of this aquifer system.

 

Objective

The objective of the proposed study is to investigate the hydrogeology of the Fairport-Lyons channel and inter-drumlin aquifer system in southern Wayne County and to present the results as an electronic map-format report at 1:24,000 scale. The spatial extent and hydrogeologic framework of this valley-fill aquifer will be delineated at a scale of 1:24,000 using existing data, including soils maps, well records, geologic logs, topographic data, published reports, and unpublished field mapping.

 

Approach

Some field work will be needed in this study area because there is little hydrogeologic data available from previous USGS well inventories conducted in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Most available data are well records collected by Griswold (1951) from homeowners and a few municipalities, but these well records contain few geologic logs and water-level data. Field work will consist primarily of passive seismic surveys to determine the depth to bedrock and aquifer thickness in areas of the Fairport-Lyons channel and selected inter-drumlin outwash channels. The study area will be within four adjacent 7.5-minute quadrangles - Macedon, Palmyra, Newark, and Lyons. This approach will be consistent with similar USGS projects that have produced maps of the extent of stratified-drift aquifers at 1:24,000 scale (see https://www.sciencebase.gov/catalog/item/55c9ddf7e4b08400b1fdb734).  Investigation of the hydrogeology of this aquifer system would be conducted at a scale of 1:24,000.

 

Relevance and Benefits

This aquifer mapping project will provide detailed hydrogeologic information on the aquifer system that occupies the Fairport-Lyons channel in southern Wayne County, N.Y., and will be used by State, County, and municipal governments , as well as individuals for groundwater resource planning and protection. This study will also contribute to the body of literature concerning the study of stratified-drift aquifers in the glaciated northeast.

 

Table 1.  Major Municipal and Non-municipal groundwater users in Wayne County, NY

(New York State Department of Health, 1982)

Water users

Source

Population

Lyons

Wells and Junius Ponds

4,600

Newark

Wells and Canandaigua Lake

12,000

Macedon

Wells

1,800 

Non-municipal community supplies

Wells

1,200

Individual homeowners

Wells

Estimated 1,000

 

Total

20,600

 

 Project
Location by County

Wayne County, NY