THE EFFECT OF FAULTS UPON GROUND-WATER FLOW IN THE BATON ROUGE FAULT SYSTEM, LOUISIANA
Saline water has intruded into some of the aquifers north of the BRF as a result of overpumping. It was assumed until recently that the BRF is acting as a leaky barrier for the movement of saline water north of the fault. In 2002 two studies asserted that this fault is acting as a conduit for saline water to migrate upward from deeper sources. The main purpose of this study was to analyze this controversy by review of previous literature, modeling, and geochemical analysis. The USGS model MOCDENSE was used to simulate density-driven two-dimensional flow. Five different scenarios were developed to explore the alternative explanations of movement of saline water. Available USGS geochemical and hydrological data plus geochemical data collected by Stoessell were used to calibrate the model. Modeling indicates that the fault can act as either a leaky barrier or a conduit for saline water to migrate north of the fault. Geochemical data also indicates that a dual role is likely.