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Assessment of Ground-Water Flow near the Savannah River Site,Georgia and South Carolina

Progress and Significant Results, 2002—2003

  • Collected water-level measurements from 282 wells in Georgia and South Carolina during September 9 13, 2002, and constructed potentiometric-surface maps for four major aquifers. The potentiometric-surface maps were integrated into a Geographic Information System to determine the horizontal and vertical hydraulic gradients for the aquifers along with any interaction with streams and rivers. The water-level measurements were used to adjust boundary conditions and determine if any additional calibration is required to the model under 2002 hydrologic conditions.
  • Updated ground-water use estimates within the eight-county study area to reflect the changes that have occurred since the previous study (Clarke and West, 1998). The major increase in ground-water use between 1995 and 2000 is evident for Burke, Jefferson, and Screven Counties, Ga.; and Allendale and Barnwell Counties, S.C. In these counties, ground-water use for irrigation increased from 16.7 million gallons per day (Mgal/d) during 1995 to 53.1 Mgal/d during 2000 and irrigated acreage increased from 61,690 acres during 1995 to 97,690 acres during 2000 (Fanning, 2003).
  • Converted existing regional groundwater model to Graphical User Interface (GUI) environment to generate current model input for MODFLOW-2000 simulations. The new MODFLOW GUI incorporates the hydrogeologic framework (Falls and others, 1997) into the various model layers and is essential when performing three-dimensional particle-tracking analysis.
  • Adjusted specified heads in the source-sink layer (A1) of the model to conform with the 2002 potentiometric-surface map of the Upper Three Runs aquifer, and lowered the specified heads along the lateral boundaries of the model in layers A2A7 based on observation points in each aquifer. The specified heads in the source-sink layer were lowered to reflect the decline in water levels that resulted from the drought that occurred from 1998 to 2002.
  • Evaluated ground-water model under steady-state conditions for 2002 to determine if additional calibration is necessary. The model simulations conducted using updated pumping estimates, observed aquifer heads, and recharge rates from the source-sink layer (A1), indicated that no additional calibration was required.

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