During the last two decades, storms such as Hurricanes Katrina and Ike along the Gulf of Mexico and Floyd and Hugo along the Atlantic Coast of the United States have resulted in significant loss of life, injuries, and property damages exceeding well over 100 billion dollars. Much of the damage associated with these and other tropical and extra-tropical weather systems is associated with severe coastal flooding. The purpose of this project is to develop a real-time coastal flood monitoring and warning system for the coastal communities in Kent County, Delaware. This system will serve as a prototype for similar early-warning systems, which may then be applied along the entire Delaware coast.
The goal of this project is to develop a three-dimensional (3D) numerical groundwater flow model to evaluate the potential impacts to surface- and groundwater resulting from the disposal of treated wastewater in a portion of the Inland Bays drainage basin.
By developing a sub-regional, fresh, groundwater flow model and analyzing results, several issues will be addressed that are related to state policy, regulation revision, and proposed projects associated with land-based wastewater disposal (LBWD) in Sussex County.
Eutrophication is one of the most common and most severe problems facing coastal bays in
populated and agricultural areas. Unnaturally high quantities of nutrients enter fresh groundwater and surface water as a result of human activities. These nutrients contribute to the overpopulation of phytoplankton and macroalgae in coastal surface waters, which results in deterioration of water quality and animal habitat. This is a particular problem in the Delmarva region, where poultry farms, agricultural activity, and growing human populations have contributed to rapidly declining populations of blue crabs, striped bass, and many other species which live and breed in estuarine waters. The economic value of these species has, in part, prompted political action and efforts to manage nutrient inputs to groundwater and surface water, the primary pathways for nutrient loading to coastal waters. Despite significant reductions, coastal water quality has largely remained poor. A better understanding of the processes that moderate nutrient loading to coastal waters, particularly via groundwater, which is much more difficult to monitor than surface water inputs, is essential for improved management methods that will result in healthy coastal ecosystems. This project will improve understanding of where nutrients are coming from and how loading may be reduced, and may aid in identification of activities that exacerbate negative impacts.
The Delaware Geological Survey's Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Core and Sample Repository is a large collection of cores and samples from oil and gas wells drilled offshore the Atlantic Coast of the U.S. during the 1970s and 1980s. This collection was assembled from the contributions of federal agencies, other state agencies, and private institutions that have recognized the value of having a centralized repository for this material.
The goal of this project is consistent with the goals of the National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program: to create metadata for geologic data that can populate the National Digital Catalog. Specifically, this project focuses on metadata for the digital photograph holdings of the Delaware Geological Survey and scanning of analog imagery and slides into digital products.
This study has evaluated pre-treatment and physical and geochemical components of rapid infiltration basin systems (RIBS). The project was begun in 2008 with an evaluation of performance of treatment plants associated with RIBS in Delaware, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and New Jersey. Field and simulation evaluations of a RIBS located at Cape Henlopen State Park were completed in 2011. Simulation studies of infiltration and nitrogen cycling in the vadose zone were completed in early 2013. Multiple conference presentations, reports, and articles are now being released.
The project supports work by the Kent County Levy Court (Kent County) to evaluate the nutrient TMDLS for the tidal portion of the Murderkill River. The project will contribute to a more robust parameterization of river-marsh interaction in the water-quality model that is being developed for the Murderkill River by Kent County. The purpose of the project is to characterize the spatial and temporal inundation of a salt marsh in the Murderkill River Estuary and to determine the feasibility of using heat as a tracer of flow to characterize inundation of other marshes in the estuary.
This project is an integrated geologic/hydrologic study that will update our knowledge of the unconfined aquifers, confined aquifers, and groundwater resources of Sussex County. In addition, this project will utilize the results of recently completed study of the aquifer geology of Kent County (McLaughlin and Velez, 2005) to better define the groundwater resources of Kent County. The products to be produced by this study include aquifer depth and thickness maps and geologic cross sections for Sussex County. Products will also include a summary of basic hydrologic characteristics of aquifers in Kent and Sussex County and an analysis of water use for each aquifer.
Since 1992, the Delaware Geological Survey (DGS) has compiled a geologic database known as the Delaware Offshore Geologic Inventory (DOGI) that consists of sediment samples, radiocarbon and amino acid racemization dates, seismic profiles, and vibracores taken from the nearshore and inner continental shelf in state and federal waters. Most of the 366 vibracores are stored at the DGS on-site core and sample repository.
To understand the effects of projected increased demands on ground water to supply water, a finite-difference, steady-state, nine-layer, groundwater flow model was used to simulate groundwater flow in the Coastal Plain sediments of southern New Castle County, Delaware. Results are published in DGS RI77