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Bedrock Regional Aquifer Systematics Study (BRASS)


To understand geologic controls on ground-water availability in fractured bedrock in the eastern U.S.


A rapid increase in urban development is occurring in areas of the eastern U.S. that are underlain by bedrock. Many of these regions lack abundant sources of surface water and must rely on ground water that accumulates in fractured-rock aquifers. Because so little has been known about the controls on ground-water supplies in this type of aquifer, it is unclear exactly how much ground water is available, how much new development can be sustained, and what are the potential risks from contamination. A geologic mapping effort is being combined with ground-water studies to develop models for the hydrogeologic framework of each study area. Models that are developed by this project are being used by urban planners to evaluate questions of water supply. Each of these models can then be extrapolated to a larger geographic area to provide a regional hydrogeologic framework.

Study Area:

Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

Anticipated Uses:

Resources (Water)


Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, George Washington University (DC), Indiana State University, Loudoun County (VA), New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, New Jersey Geological Survey, North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Pennsylvania Geological Survey, Pennsylvania State University, Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition (CT), Trinity College (CT), U.S. Department of Agriculture, Upper Cullasaja Watershed Association, Inc. (NC), Vermont Geological Survey, Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy, Massachusetts Office of the State Geologist

Project Status:

Past NCGMP Funding

Project Duration:


Duration of NCGMP Funding:


Contact Information:

Project Chief: William C. Burton (Eastern Earth Surface Processes Team)
Phone: 703-648-6904

Related Links:

Project Website:
Project Geologic Maps: