Salt water movement within the water table aquifer following Hurricane Hugo
Hurricane Hugo generated a tidal surge approximately twenty feet high which inundated a strip of coastal forest from Charleston to just south of Myrtle Beach. On the Hobcaw Forest, east of Georgetown, the surge was about 10 feet above sea level and inundated a strip about 3500 feet wide. Salt water infiltrated directly into the forest soil and water table aquifer during the surge and from ponded areas for a period after the storm. Early auger hole measures of water table aquifer salinity reflected the deposition of salt within the aquifer throughout the surge area. Later multi-level sampling indicated that salt concentrations have remained high ( 2000mg Cl/I) through 1992. Higher concentrations have persisted deep (12 ft) in the aquifer but groundwater flow has also carried high concentrations into hardwood drainages. Forest mortality was more closely related to salinity determinations in multi-level samplers than earlier auger hole data.