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Bedrock Regional Aquifer Systematics Study

North Carolina

Piedmont/Mountains Project. This is a multi-year cooperative project between the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR), the North Carolina District of the USGS Water Resources Discipline, and BRASS, to study ground-water flow, availability, and chemistry in selected regions of the Piedmont and Blue Ridge geologic provinces in North Carolina. NCDENR is the cooperator funding WRD on the project, and WRD is partially funding the BRASS component of the project. The objective is to understand in detail the hydrogeologic framework of selected small areas in the Piedmont and Blue Ridge in order to characterize the broader lithotectonic belts in which each study area resides. This project began in 2000 with the selection of 5 study areas in the Piedmont and Blue Ridge that have existing but limited hydrologic databases and are representative of larger areas. Stream-gage and water-well information are being compiled for each area, and partially-cored wells are being placed along transects in each study area with depths ranging from the middle of the saprolite zone to several hundred feet into bedrock. The BRASS component began in 2001 with geologic mapping of two small watersheds,  surrounding Reidsville and Highlands, respectively, that are among the five study areas. These maps are now completed and are being prepared for publication. One of the watersheds is a low-elevation Piedmont site in the Milton Belt metamorphic terrane (Reidsville) while the other is a high-elevation site in the Blue Ridge within the Ashe Metamorphic Suite (Highlands). The Highlands site is a highly-developed resort area that will be compared to a second, undeveloped Blue Ridge watershed (already mapped by the North Carolina Geological Survey) in a demonstration forest near Asheville (Bent Creek), in order to gauge the impact of development on ground water supply in geologically similar areas.


Chapman, M.J., Daniel, C.C., III, Horton, J.W., Jr., and Burton, W.C.,, 2001, Characterizing the fractured crystalline-bedrock aquifers of North Carolina—A federal and State cooperative study, in Adams, D.B., Burke, Katrina, Hemingway, Bruce, Keay, Jeff, and Yurewicz, Michael, compilers, 2001, U.S. Geological Survey Appalachian region integrated science workshop proceedings, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, October 22-26, 2001: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 01-406, p. 86.

Horton, J.W., Jr., Geddes, D.J., Chapman, M.J., and Daniel, C.C., III,, 2002, Investigating the influence of geologic factors on ground water in the Southern Appalachian Piedmont, Reidsville, North Carolina, Fractured-Rock Aquifers 2002 conference, March 13-15, 2002, Proceedings: Denver, CO, National Ground Water Association, p. 39.

Related links:

USGS North Carolina District
North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources

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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
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