Type of Document Master's Thesis Author Pope, Jason Philip Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-05312002-222410 Title Characterization and modeling of land subsidence due to groundwater withdrawals from the confined aquifers of the Virginia Coastal Plain Degree Master of Science Department Geological Sciences Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Burbey, Thomas J. Committee Chair Harlow, George E. Jr. Committee Member Schreiber, Madeline E. Committee Member Keywords
- land subsidence
- groundwater withdrawals
Date of Defense 2002-05-16 Availability restricted AbstractMeasurement and analysis of aquifer-system compaction have been used to
characterize aquifer and confining unit properties when other techniques such as flow
modeling have been ineffective at adequately quantifying storage properties or matching
historical water levels in environments experiencing land subsidence. In the southeastern
Coastal Plain of Virginia, high-sensitivity borehole pipe extensometers were used to
measure 24.2 mm of total compaction at Franklin from 1979 to 1995 (an average of 1.5
mm/yr) and 50.2 mm of total compaction at Suffolk from 1982 to 1995 (an average of 3.7
mm/yr). Analysis of the extensometer data reveals that the small rates of aquifer-system
compaction appear to be correlated with withdrawals of water from confined aquifers.
One-dimensional vertical compaction modeling indicates that the measured compaction
is the result of nonrecoverable hydrodynamic consolidation of the fine-grained confining
units and interbeds as well as recoverable compaction and expansion of coarse-grained
aquifer units. The modeling results also provide useful information about specific storage
and vertical hydraulic conductivity of individual hydrogeologic units. The results of this
study enhance the understanding of the complex Coastal Plain aquifer system and will be
useful in future modeling and management of ground water in this region.
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