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: 35
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
Date published: January 9, 2017
Status: Active

New York Water Science Center Data Program

Objective: The USGS New York Water Science Center (NYWSC) works with other Federal agencies as well as with State, municipal, and tribal agencies to provide research and data about water-related issues. Relevance and Impact: The NYWSC leads the scientific and water-resources management communities by providing high-quality, timely, and unbiased scientific data, reports, and other information...

Date published: July 27, 2016
Status: Active

Delineation of the Hydrogeologic Framework and Saltwater-Freshwater Interface and Determination of Water-Supply Sustainability of Long Island, New York

Problem Long Island’s sole-source aquifer system, which includes the Lloyd, Magothy, Jameco, and upper glacial aquifers, supplies groundwater to over 2.8 million people. As a coastal aquifer system, it is susceptible to saltwater intrusion. Past pumpage and sewering (fig. 1) resulted in increased salinity in most aquifers in all counties (Buxton and Shernoff, 1999; Misut and others, 2004;...

Date published: March 18, 2016
Status: Active

Surface-Geophysical Surveys and Well Network for Monitoring Aquifer Salinity in the Genesee River Valley, Livingston County, New York

Background and Problem The Retsof salt mine in the Genesee River valley, Livingston County, New York flooded after roof collapses in 1994 created two rubble chimneys in overlying bedrock that intersected a confined aquifer in the basal glacial-drift deposits (figs. 1 and 2). Groundwater flowed downward through the rubble chimneys causing widespread drawdown in the lower confined aquifer until...

Contacts: John Williams
Date published: November 10, 2015
Status: Active

Rockland County Water-Resource Assessment

INTRODUCTION • Concerns over the viability of the fractured bedrock aquifer that provides about 1/3 of Rockland County’s water supply prompted a 5-year study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to (1) define the hydrogeologic framework of the aquifer, (2) assess conditions within it, and (3) identify other potential sources of water for the County. The study was done in cooperation with...

Contacts: Paul Heisig
Date published: November 3, 2015
Status: Active

Geohydrology of the Valley-Fill Aquifer in Upper Buttermilk Creek/Danby Creek Valleys, Town of Danby, Tompkins County, New York

Problem - The valley-fill deposits in Upper Buttermilk Creek/Danby Creek valleys are sources of water for many homeowners, farms, and small businesses that are in this valley. The aquifer was mapped by Miller (2000) and identified as one of the 17 aquifers in Tompkins County that needs to be studied in more detail. However, there is little geohydrologic data in the valley. A cluster of wells...

Contacts: John Williams, Todd S Miller
Date published: October 20, 2015
Status: Active

Hydrogeology and Water Quality of the North Shore Aquifer in Locust Valley, Town of Oyster Bay, New York

Problem Perchlorate detected in a shallow supply well within the southern portion of the Locust Valley Water District (LVWD) has prompted interest in determining the possible existence of a deeper confined aquifer (North Shore Aquifer) that may be protected from shallow contamination (fig. 1). Previous USGS studies in this area indicate the northern part of Nassau County has a complex...

Date published: September 28, 2015
Status: Completed

Hydrogeology of Two Areas of the Tug Hill Glacial-drift Aquifer, Oswego County, New York

Problem - Several supply wells in Oswego County were evaluated by the USGS in 1999 by using stable oxygen and hydrogen isotopes and chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) age dating techniques. For two municipal well sites (the Villages of Sandy Creek and Lacona, and the Village of Pulaski) that tap a shallow, unconfined aquifer (typically 20-50 ft thick) there were significant discrepancies between ground-...

Contacts: John Williams, Todd S Miller
Date published: August 20, 2015
Status: Active

Hydrogeology of a Ground-Water Contamination Site, Cayuga County, New York

Problem - The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provided technical assistance between 2001 and 2013 to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in an investigation of the presence of chlorinated solvents (trichloroethylene and degradates) in ground water in the Middle-to-Lower Devonian and Upper Silurian carbonate bedrock southwest of Auburn in Cayuga County, N.Y. Pieziometric and water-qu...

Contacts: John Williams, Alton Anderson, David A Eckhardt