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Hydrogeology of the Susquehanna River valley-fill aquifer system in the towns of Conklin and Kirkwood, Broome County, New York

July 23, 2021

The hydrogeology of the Susquehanna River valley-fill aquifer system and adjacent areas in south-central Broome County, New York, was investigated in cooperation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The study area encompasses roughly 55.5 square miles and includes the towns of Conklin and Kirkwood. Multiple small, perhaps discontinuous, valley-fill aquifers of unknown extent and hydraulic interconnection underlie the Susquehanna River valley from easternmost Binghamton south to Riverside, New York, near the Pennsylvania border. The hydrogeologic framework of these aquifers is described in this report on the basis of existing descriptions of surficial materials, especially those related to deglaciation, and subsurface data extracted from well and boring logs. A compilation of surficial geology, the descriptions of the spatial distribution of confined and unconfined aquifers, hydrogeologic sections, and well locations is provided as an oversized map plate and in a U.S. Geological Survey data release.

Residential households are one of the principal consumers of groundwater in the study area. Approximately half of these households are served by public water-supply systems that obtain water from wells, chiefly from highly productive but small and likely discontinuous surficial deposits of sand and gravel, while others obtain water from sand-and-gravel aquifers beneath till and (or) fine-grained lacustrine deposits, and a few from bedrock. Residents outside the public-supply service areas rely on private wells. In till-mantled upland areas, nearly all private wells tap bedrock. Water-resource potential is likely greatest north of Kirkwood Center, New York, where the valley is narrowest, and local aquifers are in thick stratified glacial deposits. Well yields are highest in this part of the valley, and the local aquifer system is likely replenished through induced infiltration from the Susquehanna River and numerous small tributaries. The area between Langdon and Kirkwood is filled with a mixture of stratified and unstratified glacial sediments and contains one high-yield well. This area likely has moderate water-resource potential, but limited well data make this difficult to verify. Well yields from suitable stratified glacial sediments generally decrease southward toward Riverside, New York.

Characterizing potential groundwater resources is also helpful for prioritizing source-water-protection efforts. Water resources throughout New York are at risk of contamination from commercial and industrial surface activities. As in many valley areas throughout the Susquehanna River watershed in south-central New York, valley wells with depths greater than roughly 100 to 150 feet are susceptible to contamination by naturally occurring saltwater and methane. New York currently has a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, but the study area is underlain by rocks suitable for unconventional methods of gas production that would likely be initiated if the moratorium were to be lifted.

Publication Year 2021
Title Hydrogeology of the Susquehanna River valley-fill aquifer system in the towns of Conklin and Kirkwood, Broome County, New York
DOI 10.3133/sir20215026
Authors John G. Van Hoesen, Paul M. Heisig, Shannon R. Fisher
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Report
Series Number 2021-5026
Index ID sir20215026
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization New York Water Science Center