Development associated with expansion at the northeast margin of the New York State Capital District is significantly impacting groundwater aquifers of small communities which rely entirely on shallow, individual-dwelling wells, most of which produce from facies of the Hoosic Delta, a small late Pleistocene system that prograded into glacial Lake Albany. Ironically, those qualities which make these facies such good aquifers are also qualities which make them very susceptible to contamination by landfill leachate, leaking underground storage tanks, agricultural fertilizer infiltration and malfunction of poorly designed and located septic systems. These rural townships and villages are experiencing a high percentage increase in housing starts, have very low tax bases and are hard pressed to find the money required to cope with the rapid transition from rural to suburban mode. They need geoscience information and appropriate technology not unlike that needed by developing nations around the world. As an example of low cost applied sedimentology in support of planning efforts, this paper outlines the results of facies analysis of the Hoosic Delta depositional system and how this information can be used by planners who are concerned about groundwater availability and pollution potential. It is worthy of note that this kind of depositional systems modeling originated in the petroleum industry and now has, or should have, wide application in the environmental geosciences.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90926©1999 AAPG Eastern Section Meeting, Indianapolis, Indiana