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The Great Valley and Cacapon Mountain Karst Aquifers, West Virginia-Virginia

A series of projects have looked at water resources in karst aquifers of Berkeley, Morgan, and Jefferson counties, WV, including the Great Valley Cambro-Ordovician complex and Silurian karst of the Cacapon Mountain anticline. Activities included stage and chemical monitoring of springs (Rachel Grand, MS 2004; Lacoa Corder, MS 2008), development of a ground water model for the Great valley (Jason Early, MS 2004), and quantification of spatial variations in recharge rate related to structure (Crissy Vinciguerra, MS 2008).

Groundwater in the area around Berkeley Springs, WV, occurs either in fractured Devonian clastic rocks (mostly shale) above the Devonian Oriskany sandstone, or in carbonate and clastic aquifers stratigraphically below the Oriskany, on Cacapon Mountain. The carbonate aquifers represent the highest chemical quality of groundwater in theis sequence and also a potential source of high yields for public supplies. There are a series of springs from this aquifer, but future potential development will likely have to be from wells. Like many communities in the Eastern Panhandle, the Berkeley Springs area is seeing growth and needs to identify future potential water supplies. The science of these investigations will support future exploration.

Funding agencies: WV Water Research Institute, Morgan County Rural Water Committee, Eastern Panhandle Conservation District, USDA CREES