Link to USGS Home Page
BRASS home pagefractured rock explainedaquifers explainedgroundwater explainedwater resourcesstudy areasspacer
Bedrock Regional Aquifer Systematics Study

Ground water and fractured-rock aquifers

Fractured-rock aquifers are aquifers in bedrock in which most of the ground water resides in fractures, as opposed to the primary (intergranular) porosity. The storage capacity of fractured-rock aquifers is heavily dependent on the bedrock geology, since the fracture stystems that contain ground wate can vary greatly in character between different kinds of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks. In addition, contaminants leaking into these bedrock aquifers move along pathways that are fracture-controlled, making the tasks of predicting contaminant movement and removing them from the ground water much harder to accomplish. It is therefore important to know as much as possible about the local geology to understand fractured_rock aquifers.

Much of the recent development along the Eastern Seaboard has occurred in areas underlain by bedrock that don not have rivers or reservoirs available for new drinking water sources. As growth in these areas continues, the problems of groundwater availability and vulnerability to contamination will increase. The purpose of the BRASS project is to address these issues through geology-based investigations


BiologyGeologyMappingWaterPublicationsGlossaryAsk USGSSearch

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA USA
Maintained by: Boris Barrios
Contact: Bill Burton
Last modification: 27-Aug-2004
|| Accessibility || Disclaimer || Privacy Statement ||