The Eocene Memphis Sand aquifer is the major source of drinking water for municipalities in the upper Mississippi Embayment, with the city of Memphis, TN, being the largest consumer. Concerns about contamination of the Memphis aquifer from surface waters have primarily focused on local groundwater transmission through the Upper Claiborne aquitard and erosional windows through the aquitard. This study used recent fault mapping to show that faults extend upward from the Memphis aquifer to very near the surface in and adjacent to Memphis. The Meeman-Shelby and Cuba faults extend under the Mississippi River and upward to the base of the Mississippi River alluvium. Groundwater levels (potentiometric surface) in Memphis aquifer monitor wells H002 and LdF 004 and the Mississippi River water levels during the years of 2007 through 2011 show strong correlation (0.744829 and 0.779691, respectively). We believe this correlation may be due to direct connection through fault zones.

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