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South Atlantic Water Science Center

Map of North Carolina highlighting the project study area

Project Overview

Full Title
Cherry Point paleochannel delineation

The MCAS at Cherry Point in Craven County

Cooperating Agencies
MCAS Cherry Point, NC

Project Chief
Beth Wrege

Period of Project

Cherry Point Paleochannel Delineation

This project was completed in 2007. These pages are for historical purposes only.


Photograph of the drill rig and truck setting up amidst the pine trees at the site

Drilling rig at Cherry Point, operated by Eugene Cobbs II and Eugene Cobbs III

The U.S. Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS), Cherry Point, North Carolina, in southeastern Craven County, is in the Coastal Plain Physiographic Province. The MCAS is underlain by four freshwater aquifers -- the surficial, Yorktown, and the upper and lower Castle Hayne aquifers. Deeper aquifers in this area contain saline water. The upper and lower Castle Hayne aquifers are the principal water supply sources for the MCAS and surrounding communities. Beneath the MCAS, the upper Castle Hayne aquifer is composed of sands and sandy shell beds of the Pungo River Formation and limestone of the River Bend Formation. The lower Castle Hayne aquifer is composed of interbedded limestones, sandy limestones, and calcareous sands of the Castle Hayne Formation. The aquifers are separated by clay confining units that are locally discontinuous because of depositional and erosional truncations, including some that are associated with paleochannels. Where present, a confining unit above the Castle Hayne aquifer impedes the downward movement of potential contaminants to the water supply. If the confining unit overlying the Castle Hayne aquifer is absent or portions of it are missing, the lack of confinement could provide a conduit for movement of contaminants from the surficial aquifer to the water-supply aquifer.

Photograph of Mike Stroble, standing to the left, and Beth Wrege, seated at the right, outside at the drill site, examining and logging a recent core

Mike Stroble and Beth Wrege examining core from the Cherry Point drill site