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Richard J Reynolds

I have been a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey since 1973 and have conducted numerous hydrogeologic studies in both upstate New York and on Long Island. My principal interests include the application of surface and borehole geophysical techniques to hydrogeologic investigations, and ground water-surface water interactions in both valley-fill and coastal plain aquifers.

I have served as project chief of the Detailed Aquifer Mapping Program in New York State since 1982. A total of 34 reports covering important stratified-drift aquifers in upstate New York have been released since the program’s inception in 1980. These reports form the foundation of NYSDEC's wellhead protection program in upstate New York, inasmuch as NYSDEC has proposed that mapped aquifer boundaries "...serve as the fundamental delineation of wellhead protection areas..," in New York State.

My studies of the hydrogeology of the Beaver Kill and Pepacton Reservoir Basins in the Catskill Mountains of southeastern New York show that the high baseflows of streams in this region are primarily the result of groundwater contributions from the underlying sandstone bedrock (Reynolds, 2000a, 2004). These findings have revised the planned areas where the New York City Department of Environmental Protection seeks to purchase land within their watersheds.

My long-standing interest in USGS reports has allowed me to act as the New York District Reports Specialist and to fill in for the Western Regional Reports Specialist in the past. I hold a B.S. degree in Earth Sciences from Adelphi University, and an M.S. degree in Water Resources Engineering from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. I have authored or co-authored more than 40 scientific papers and reports on such topics as the floodwave-response technique of determining aquifer diffusivity, the application of continuous seismic reflection profiling to hydrologic studies, the effect of urbanization on stream base flow, and the hydrogeologic characterization of valley-fill aquifers. I am a licensed Professional Geologist in the State of New York. I retired from the USGS in 2015 but continue to be active as a Scientist Emeritus at the New York Water Science Center.

A geological footnote: As a graduate student at Adelphi University in 1973, I discovered a buried spruce root in an exposure of Roslyn Till in Port Washington, NY while conducting a till fabric of stones emplaced in the till. I removed and bagged the wood sample, which was later submitted for Carbon-14 dating. The C-14 analysis dated the spruce root at 21,750 years B.P. (before present), This date has since been accepted by glacial geologists as the approximate date of the last glaciation on Long Island and deposition of the terminal moraine.

 

Professional Experience

  • Pioneered the use of seismic refraction surveys to define the thickness of glacial valley fill in groundwater studies in upstate New York (Reynolds and Brown, 1984).

  • Pioneered the use of high-resolution continuous seismic-reflection profiling in river valleys to define regional glacial stratigraphy in upstate New York (Reynolds and Williams, 1988).

  • Introduced the use of floodwave-response modeling of groundwater levels to estimate aquifer diffusivity in valley-fill aquifers in upstate New York (Reynolds, 1987b).

  • My suggestion to place short titles of plates in the upper right-hand corner of folded plates in reports was accepted and incorporated into USGS report illustration standards (WRD Memorandum 93.14).

  • My evaluation of the Federal-State observation well network in New York State resulted in an increase of State cooperator funding of $500,000 to expand and improve the network (Reynolds, 2000b).

  • My proposal to NYSDEC for a groundwater quality sampling program to satisfy USEPA Clean Water Act Section 305b requirements resulted in an ongoing cooperative groundwater quality sampling program with NYSDEC.

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