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Aquifer transmissivity in Nassau, Queens, and Kings Counties, New York, estimated from specific-capacity tests at production wells

October 15, 2020

As part of a cooperative effort between the U.S. Geological Survey and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to evaluate the sustainability of Long Island’s sole-source aquifer system, the transmissivities of four aquifers were estimated from specific-capacity tests at 447 production wells in Nassau, Queens, and Kings Counties on Long Island, New York. The specific-capacity test data, which included pumping rate, pumping duration, and drawdown, were obtained from published and unpublished records of driller-reported acceptance tests collected at production wells screened in the upper glacial, Jameco, Magothy, or Lloyd aquifers. Pumping rates from the production wells during the tests generally were greater than 400 gallons per minute and ranged up to 1,800 gallons per minute. Pumping duration generally was 8 hours or more. Transmissivities were estimated from the specific-capacity data by the Cooper-Jacob approximation of the Theis equation. The transmissivity estimates are considered rough approximations because the aquifers do not meet the ideal assumptions of the method, well losses and partial penetration were not accounted for, and aquifer storage coefficients were not known but were only estimated from available data.

The transmissivities estimated from production wells screened in the upper glacial aquifer in the outwash plain south of the moraine generally were greater than those of the aquifer north of the moraine. The transmissivities estimated from the wells screened in the upper glacial aquifer south of the moraine typically ranged (as defined by the 10th and 90th percentiles) from 3,800 to 15,000 feet squared per day (ft2/d), with a median value of 7,300 ft2/d. The transmissivities estimated from the wells screened in the upper glacial aquifer north of the moraine typically ranged from 2,100 to 7,400 ft2/d, with a median value of 4,400 ft2/d. The Jameco aquifer generally had the highest estimated transmissivities of all the aquifers analyzed. The estimated transmissivities for the Jameco aquifer typically ranged from 5,500 to 43,000 ft2/d, with a median value of 16,000 ft2/d. The Magothy and Lloyd aquifers had similar estimated transmissivities. The transmissivities estimated for the Magothy aquifer typically ranged from 2,700 to 13,000 ft2/d, with a median of 7,100 ft2/d. The estimated transmissivities of the Lloyd typically ranged from 3,000 to 14,000 ft2/d, with a median of 7,200 ft2/d.