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Groundwater levels and generalized potentiometric surfaces, former Naval Air Warfare Center, West Trenton, New Jersey, 2018

June 9, 2020

Groundwater-level conditions, generalized groundwater potentiometric surfaces, and generalized flow directions at the decommissioned Naval Air Warfare Center in West Trenton, New Jersey, were evaluated for calendar year 2018. Groundwater levels measured continuously in five on-site wells and one nearby off-site well were plotted as hydrographs for January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2018. Groundwater levels measured in 110 wells on June 18, 2018, were contoured as generalized potentiometric surfaces on maps and sections. Generalized groundwater-flow directions inferred from the June 2018 data are shown in the maps and sections.

Groundwater levels in six monitoring wells fluctuated in response to seasonal changes, precipitation, and pumping from “pump-and-treat” (P&T) wells. Record high precipitation totals in November, combined with a shutdown of three P&T wells in November, resulted in annual high water levels in late November for five of the six wells monitored. Annual high groundwater levels that occur during the fall are uncharacteristic of the typical timing of annual high water levels, which usually occur in the spring following low evapotranspiration during the winter months, compared to annual low water levels, which usually occur in fall because of high evapotranspiration during the summer months. The annual high water levels occurred following a 3-day precipitation event totaling 3.50 inches from November 24-26, which also caused the largest 1-day water-level increase for five of the six wells in 2018.

The groundwater-level contour maps and sections include generalized flow directions. Given the heterogeneity of the site’s fractured rock aquifers, contours and associated groundwater-flow directions shown on the maps and sections should be considered as broad conceptualizations. A nearly vertical fault striking southwest to northeast separates the northwestern part of the site underlain by the Lockatong Formation from the southeastern part, which is underlain by the Stockton Formation. In the Lockatong Formation, general groundwater-flow directions were toward P&T wells. The P&T wells limited the flow of groundwater in the Lockatong Formation from the site into the adjacent areas and contained most groundwater contamination within the site. A groundwater divide bisected the site; groundwater in the western part generally flowed to P&T wells 8BR, 15BR, 20BR, 29BR, 56BR, 91BR, and BRP-2, and groundwater in the eastern part generally flowed to P&T well 48BR. A groundwater divide also was present in the Stockton Formation. Groundwater west of the divide in the Stockton Formation generally flowed toward P&T well 22BR, and groundwater east of the divide generally flowed south and southeast, away from the site. Saprolite and fill from land surface to depths of 25 feet below land surface exhibit similar properties to those of porous media, and water levels in surficial wells were contoured using a porous media aquifer approach. Water levels in these surficial wells indicate that groundwater in the saprolite and fill flowed predominantly toward Gold Run and, to a lesser extent, the West Ditch spring that drains to Gold Run. In addition, some shallow groundwater was captured by the cone of depression in the fractured bedrock and was attributed to P&T well 48BR.

Publication Year 2020
Title Groundwater levels and generalized potentiometric surfaces, former Naval Air Warfare Center, West Trenton, New Jersey, 2018
DOI 10.3133/ofr20201016
Authors Alex R. Fiore, Pierre J. Lacombe
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2020-1016
Index ID ofr20201016
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization New Jersey Water Science Center