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Fracture characterization of crystalline bedrock for groundwater investigations; an example from the Marlborough Quadrangle, Massachusetts

TitleFracture characterization of crystalline bedrock for groundwater investigations; an example from the Marlborough Quadrangle, Massachusetts
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsSalamoff, SA, Mabee, SB, Kopera, JP, Wise, DU
Conference NameAbstracts with Programs - Geological Society of America
Pagination113 - 113
Date Published2004/03/01/
PublisherGeological Society of America (GSA) : Boulder, CO, United States
Conference LocationUnited States
ISBN Number00167592
Keywords#StaffPubs, aquifers, Assabet River Fault, BEDROCK, characterization, controls, crystalline rocks, fractured materials, fractures, geographic information systems, ground water, Hydrogeology 21, hydrology, information systems, joints, Marlborough Quadrangle, massachusetts, Middlesex County Massachusetts, permeability, preferential flow, recharge, style, testing, theoretical models, United States

Integration of a wide array of structural data with well-field hydrologic testing is increasingly recognized as a critical step in understanding groundwater flow behavior and recharge in crystalline bedrock aquifers (Lyford et al., 2003, Walsh and Lyford, 2002). The Marlborough Quadrangle, about 40 km west of Boston, was selected as a test case of how a state geological survey can most effectively and efficiently collect and present such data in order to better constrain conceptual models of groundwater flow in general and to be of maximum use for hydrologists and consultants working on specific local problems. In this study, 3200 structural measurements were taken by a two-person team over a nine-week period at 68 stations distributed throughout the quadrangle and keyed into a GIS database. Specialized data sheets allowed efficient recording and digitization of orientations, lengths, spacing and mineralization, and separation of various classes of joints and veins. Fault data also included motion direction and sense. Summary maps in GIS format include standard geologic map bases overlain by typical rose diagrams and stereograms and maps such as fracture domains and trajectories, sheeting distribution, foliation trajectories, bedrock elevations, generalized piezometric surface configuration, and overburden type and thickness with separations into permeability class. Geology of the quadrangle can be separated into three zones: (a) north of the Assabet River Fault (ARF), (b) the area between the ARF and 1.5 km-wide Bloody Bluff Fault Zone (BBFZ), and (c) south of the BBFZ. Generalized foliations in the zones are: (a) 215, 50N, (b) 240, 65N, and (c) 270, 45N. Two pervasive, steeply-dipping (>60 degrees ) fracture sets occur throughout the quadrangle: an older 150 degrees set that includes sulfide-bearing veins and fracture surfaces along the ARF and a 015 degrees set of largely unmineralized common joints, macrojoints (>3 m length) and joint zones (av. 1.2 m width). Sheeting and unloading joints are generally coincident with shallow dipping foliation in (c) but cross-cut foliation in (a) and (b). We believe this approach will provide hydrologists and consultants with basic framework data that will expedite and improve the planning of subsurface investigations, construction activities and groundwater exploration.

Short TitleAbstracts with Programs - Geological Society of America
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