WRIR 97-4278

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Halford, K.J., 1998, Ground-water flow in the surficial aquifer system and potential movement of contaminants from selected waste-disposal sites at Cecil Field Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 97-4278, 68 p.


As part of the Installation Restoration Program, Cecil Field Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida, is considering remedial-action alternatives to control the possible movement of contaminants from sites that may discharge to the surface. This requires a quantifiable understanding of ground-water flow through the surficial aquifer system and how the system will respond to any future stresses.

The geologic units of interest in the study area consist of sediments of Holocene to Miocene age that extend from land surface to the base of the Hawthorn Group. The hydrogeology within the study area was determined from gamma-ray and geologistsí logs.

Ground-water flow through the surficial aquifer system was simulated with a seven-layer, finite-difference model that extended vertically from the water table to the top of the Upper Floridan aquifer. Results from the calibrated model were based on a long-term recharge rate of 6 inches per year, which fell in the range of 4 to 10 inches per year, estimated using stream hydrograph separation methods. More than 80 percent of ground-water flow circulates within the surficial-sand aquifer, which indicates that most contaminant movement also can be expected to move through the surficial-sand aquifer alone. The surficial-sand aquifer is the uppermost unit of the surficial aquifer system.

Particle-tracking results showed that the distances of most flow paths were 1,500 feet or less from a given site to its discharge point. For an assumed effective porosity of 20 percent, typical traveltimes are 40 years or less. At all of the sites investigated, particles released 10 feet below the water table had shorter traveltimes than those released 40 feet below the water table. Traveltimes from contaminated sites to their point of discharge ranged from 2 to 300 years. The contributing areas of the domestic supply wells are not very extensive. The shortest traveltimes for particles to reach the domestic supply wells from their respective contributing areas ranged from 70 to 200 years.