UMass Sesquicentennial

Correlation of lineaments to ground water inflows in a bedrock tunnel

TitleCorrelation of lineaments to ground water inflows in a bedrock tunnel
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsMabee, SB, Curry, PJ, Hardcastle, KC
JournalGround Water
Pagination37 - 43
Date Published2002/02/01/
PublisherNational Ground Water Association : Urbana, IL, United States
ISBN Number0017467X
Keywords#StaffPubs, aquifers, BEDROCK, construction, eastern Massachusetts, Engineering geology 30, Framingham Quadrangle, ground water, hydrodynamics, Hydrogeology 21, lineaments, massachusetts, Middlesex County Massachusetts, Natick Quadrangle, tectonics, tunnels, United States

Lineaments derived from three image types (1:80,000 black and white, 1:58,000 color infrared, and 1:250,000 side-looking airborne radar) were compared to water-bearing features within a 9.6 km section of tunnel being constructed through foliated crystalline metamorphic bedrock in a glaciated region of eastern Massachusetts. Lineaments drawn by three observers during two independent trials (N = 9137) were reduced to three sets (one per image type) of coincident lineaments (N = 794). Thirty-five coincident lineaments crossed the tunnel. Nineteen discrete flow zones, each producing ≥ 19 L/min, were identified in the tunnel and used to quantify the reliability of lineament analysis as a method of predicting water-bearing features in glaciated metamorphic rocks.

Thirteen (68%) of the flow zones correlate with coincident lineaments, six zones correlate with more than one image type, and one zone correlates with all three image types. Overall, without additional corroborating evidence, it is difficult to interpret in advance which lineaments will result in a successful correlation with water-producing zones in the subsurface and which ones will not. Most of the observed flow (80%) correlates with northwest-trending coincident lineaments; however, the majority of the flow (67%) associated with these lineaments is produced from structures that strike to the north or northeast. In addition, only 15 of the 35 coincident lineaments correlate with the flow zones, indicating that 20 lineaments are not associated with any appreciable flow. Six flow zones are undetected by the lineament analysis.

Short TitleGround Water
For more info contact: 


The MA Geological Survey
Department of Geosciences
269 Morrill Science Center
University of Massachusetts
611 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003-9297

Contact Us

Ph: (413) 545-4814
Fax: (413) 545-1200

stategeologist at geo dot umass dot edu

Follow us!