New York Water Science Center


The USGS uses an integrated geologic, hydrologic, and geophysical approach to characterize the unconsolidated and bedrock aquifers in the State. Hydrogeologic framework characterization is the backbone of most groundwater-related studies, including those involving aquifer mapping, saltwater-intrusion delineation, groundwater flow and transport modeling, geologic-hazards evaluation, water-tunnel construction and repair, geothermal assessments, and groundwater-quality sampling. The NYWSC uses state-of-the-art geophysical equipment for training and methods development for geophysics that include borehole-wall imagers, gamma spectral, induction, and full waveform sonic tools, and electromagnetic and heat-pulse flowmeters. A major recent study area is the Marcellus Shale of the Appalachian Basin, one of the largest formations that contain substantial accumulations of natural gas in the United States. Processing of the Marcellus Shale deposits, which were delineated on geophysical logs by their elevated gamma radiation and low density, require hydraulic fracturing; the NYWSC has been studying water resources issues associated with development of the Marcellus Shale deposits.

Filter Total Items: 31
Date published: December 20, 2018
Status: Active

Borehole Geophysics

Borehole geophysics is the science of recording and analyzing measurements of physical properties made in wells or test holes. Probes that measure different properties are lowered into the borehole to collect continuous or point data that is graphically displayed as a geophysical log. Multiple logs typically are collected to take advantage of their synergistic nature--much more can be learned...

Date published: October 31, 2018
Status: Active

Determination of Sources of Water to the Tully Valley Mudboils

Background and Problem Tully Valley is part of the Onondaga Trough, which extends from the Valley Heads Moraine in the south to Onondaga Lake in the north near Syracuse, New York (fig. 1). The Onondaga Trough is filled with a complex sequence of glacial and post-glacial sediments that overlie Devonian carbonate rock and shale and Silurian shale and salt (fig.2). Mudboils, volcano-like cone...

Contacts: Paul Heisig
Date published: March 1, 2018
Status: Active

Groundwater Sustainability of the Long Island Aquifer System

Groundwater sustainability can be best defined as the development and use of groundwater in a manner that can be maintained for an indefinite time without causing unacceptable environmental or socioeconomic consequences. Informed management of the Long Island aquifer system can help ensure a regionally sustainable groundwater resource. This study will evaluate the sustainability of Long Island...

Date published: February 28, 2018
Status: Active

Hydrogeologic-Framework Mapping - Long Island, New York


Long Island is underlain by unconsolidated Holocene deposits, glacial deposits of Pleistocene age, and coastal-plain deposits  of Late Cretaceous age. These sediments...

Date published: February 28, 2018
Status: Active

Saltwater-Interface Mapping - Long Island, New York


Saltwater intrusion is the most common type of water-quality degradation in coastal-plain aquifers. In coastal areas, the hydraulic head under predevelopment (nonpumping) conditions is higher on land than in the surrounding...

Date published: February 26, 2018
Status: Active

Groundwater-Flow Modeling - Long Island, New York


Numerical models provide a means to synthesize existing hydrogeologic information into an internally consistent mathematical representation of a real system or process, and thus are useful tools for testing and improving...

Date published: February 25, 2018
Status: Active

Groundwater Sustainability - Long Island, New York


Groundwater sustainability can best be defined as the development and use of groundwater in a manner that can be maintained for an indefinite time without causing unacceptable environmental or socioeconomic consequences. Informed...

Date published: October 24, 2017
Status: Active

The Use of Solute-transport Methods to Estimate Time-varying Nitrogen Loading Rates to the Peconic Estuary Resulting from Wastewater and Fertilizer Inputs to Groundwater in Suffolk County, New York (Peconic Solute Transport)

Problem The Peconic Estuary of eastern Long Island, New York, is undergoing development as the region transitions from a rural area dependent on agriculture and tourism to a suburban one with a larger year-round population. The glacial and coastal-plain sediments underlying Long Island comprise a sole-source aquifer system that supplies the region’s communities with potable water. The area...

Date published: June 8, 2017

Long Island - Location and Physical Setting

Long Island, the eastern-most part of New York State, extends east-northeastward roughly parallel to the Connecticut coastline. It is bounded on the north by Long Island Sound, on the east and south by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the west by New York Bay and the East River. Long Island is joined to the mainland specifically, to the Borough of the Bronx, which is one of the five boroughs of New...

Contacts: Jack Monti
Date published: May 30, 2017

Long Island Hydrogeologic Units

Long Island’s aquifer system consists of a seaward-dipping wedge of mostly unconsolidated stratified sediments comprised of sand, gravel, silt and clay.

Contacts: Jack Monti
Date published: April 4, 2017

Water Issues and Marcellus Shale Gas Development in New York

The Marcellus Shale of the Appalachian Basin is one of the largest unconventional gas plays in the United States. 

Contacts: John Williams
Date published: April 3, 2017
Status: Active

Delineation of the Saltwater-Freshwater Interface at Selected Well Locations in the Town of Riverhead, NY

Problem The Town of Riverhead in the northeastern Suffolk County includes rural farmland and suburbs and is bounded by the Long Island Sound to the north and Peconic Bay to the southeast. Riverhead’s close proximity to saline embayments and its location along the northeastern discharge area for Long Island’s groundwater flow system makes it vulnerable to saltwater intrusion. Several public-...

Contacts: Frederick Stumm