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Hydrostratigraphy of a fractured, urban aquitard

By
Julia R. Anderson
Julia R. Anderson
Minnesota Geological Survey, 2642 University Ave. W, St. Paul, Minnesota 55114-1032, USA
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;
Anthony C. Runkel
Anthony C. Runkel
Minnesota Geological Survey, 2642 University Ave. W, St. Paul, Minnesota 55114-1032, USA
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;
Robert G. Tipping
Robert G. Tipping
Minnesota Geological Survey, 2642 University Ave. W, St. Paul, Minnesota 55114-1032, USA
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;
Kelton D.L. Barr
Kelton D.L. Barr
Braun Intertec Corporation, 11001 Hampshire Ave. S, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55438, USA
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;
E. Calvin Alexander, Jr.
E. Calvin Alexander, Jr.
Department of Earth Sciences, 310 Pillsbury Dr. SE, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455-0231, USA
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Published:
January 01, 2011

ABSTRACT

This one-day trip provides an overview of the hydrostratigraphic attributes of the Platteville aquitard in the Twin Cities Metropolitan area. As a shallowly buried, extensively fractured carbonate rock in an urban setting, vulnerable to contaminants, the Platteville has been the subject of a wide variety of geomechanical and hydrogeologic studies over the past few decades. This work, combined with our own borehole geophysics and outcrop observations, has led to a more comprehensive understanding of the Platteville. The field trip will provide examples of what we have learned from these many different data sources, which collectively lead to a characterization of the Platteville as a complex “hybrid” hydrogeologic unit. Under certain conditions, and from one perspective, it can serve as an important aquitard that limits vertical flow, whereas in other conditions, and from another perspective, it is best considered a karstic aquifer with bedding-plane parallel conduits of very high hydraulic conductivity that permit rapid flow of large volumes of water. One particular focus of the trip will be demonstration of what appears to be predictability in both vertical and bedding-plane fracture patterns that in turn provides some degree of predictability of flow paths in three dimensions. These relationships appear to be operative for the Platteville in other parts of the Upper Midwest where the Platteville is shallowly buried. We will demonstrate that effective management of such complex, karst, “hybrid,” hydrogeologic units requires a sophisticated, nuanced understanding of their heterogeneous behavior.

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GSA Field Guide

Archean to Anthropocene: Field Guides to the Geology of the Mid-Continent of North America

James D. Miller
James D. Miller
Department of Geological Sciences and Precambrian Research Center University of Minnesota-Duluth Duluth, Minnesota 55812 USA
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George J. Hudak
George J. Hudak
Precambrian Research Center Natural Resources Research Institute 5013 Miller Trunk Highway Duluth, Minnesota 55811 USA
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;
Chad Wittkop
Chad Wittkop
Department of Chemistry and Geology Minnesota State University Mankato, Minnesota 56001 USA
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Patrick I. McLaughlin
Patrick I. McLaughlin
Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey Madison, Wisconsin 53705 USA
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Geological Society of America
Volume
24
ISBN electronic:
9780813756240
Publication date:
January 01, 2011

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