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The northern divide of the Susquehanna River basin crosses 29 broad valleys that contain thick glacial deposits but are drained only by small headwater streams. Much groundwater could be withdrawn from sand and gravel deposits in these valleys with little immediate effect on streamflow. A digital model of the headwater reach of one typical valley suggests that pumping 10.8 million gal/day for 2 months every summer would lower the water table as much as 33 ft, cause the upper 1,900 ft of the stream draining the valley to go dry, and reduce streamflow downvalley by 1.2 million gal/day by the time pumping ceased. Saturated thickness of surficial sand and gravel exceeds 40 ft in about half the headwater valley reaches; the valley floor areas range from 0.2 to 9 sq mi. Seepage losses from small streams that carry runoff from adjacent till-covered uplands are a major source of recharge to aquifers in these valleys under natural conditions and would increase if the water table were lowered by seasonal withdrawals. Some aquifers beneath extensive clay layers in these and other valleys of the Susquehanna River basin may be partially independent of streams but not easily evaluated. (USGS)


USGS Water-Resources Investigations Report: 85-4127