New interpretation of glacial history of Cape Cod may have important implications for groundwater contaminant transport

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Abstract

Fresh water resources of sufficient quantity and quality are critical for maintaining societies and for supporting additional growth and development. When these resources are threatened or compromised, as can occur through the release of hazardous compounds, additional stress is placed on the water supply system from loss of the resource and changes in the demand structure.

In western Cape Cod, Massachusetts, such problems are currently being encountered as a result of contaminant releases from the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR). An effective long-term response to subsurface contamination requires, among other things, determining the lithology, stratigraphy, and structure of aquifer materials and their effects on groundwater flow and contaminant transport. A recent review and analysis of subsurface data across Cape Cod offers a new interpretation of the geologic history of the Cape, with potential implications for groundwater issues facing western Cape Cod (the Upper Cape).

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