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Geology and biostratigraphy of the Upper Floridan aquifer in the greater Savannah region, Georgia and South Carolina

March 29, 2019

The Upper Floridan aquifer (UFA) of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida has been considered a regionally continuous stratigraphic sequence of Eocene to Miocene carbonate strata, with documented unconformities based on lithology and biostratigraphy.  As part of an investigation of the regional subsurface geologic framework in the Atlantic Coastal Plain Province, three deep cores were drilled by the U.S. Geological Survey at Pineora, Effingham County, Georgia; Cockspur Island, Chatham County, Georgia; and Palm Dunes, Beaufort County, South Carolina. The age of the UFAbased on calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy ranges from early Oligocene to early Miocene in Pineora, late Eocene to late Oligocene in Cockspur Island, and late Eocene to questionably Miocene in Palm Dunes. Thin section analyses identified eleven unique microfacies across the study area and suggests that the sediments were most likely transported by oceanic currents at the time of deposition. Disconformities are identified from the Pineora and Palm Dunes cores and channel incision is documented at the top of the UFA in the Palm Dunes core. This study 1) documents how existing formation and time stratigraphic boundaries cross hydrogeologic units, 2) shows the complex geologic nature of the Upper Floridan aquifer across a relatively limited area, 3) sets forth a better understanding of how lateral and vertical changes in the lithologic units of the UFA affect permeability and porosity, and thus subsurface hydrologic flow, across the region, and 4) highlights the problems faced by legislators when implementing groundwater use regulations intended to slow salt water intrusion and drawdown.

Publication Year 2019
Title Geology and biostratigraphy of the Upper Floridan aquifer in the greater Savannah region, Georgia and South Carolina
DOI 10.29041/strat.16.1.41-62
Authors Jean Self-Trail, Mercer Parker, John T. Haynes, Arthur P. Schultz, Paul. F. Huddleston
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Stratigraphy
Index ID 70202858
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center