The results of a 6 year recharge study in the Great Bend Prairie of central Kansas are statistically analyzed to regionalize the limited number of site-specific but year-round measurements. Emphasis is placed on easily measured parameters and field-measured data. The results of the statistical analysis reveal that a typical recharge event in central Kansas lasts 5-7 days, out of which 3 or 4 days are precipitation days with total precipitation of ??? 83 mm. The maximum soil-profile water storage and the maximum groundwater level resulting from the recharge event exhibit the lowest coefficients of variation, whereas the amount of recharge exhibits the highest coefficient of variation. The yearly recharge in the Great Bend Prairie ranged from 0 to 177 mm with a mean of 56 mm. Most of the recharge events occur during the months of April, May, and June, which coincide with the months of highest precipitation in the region. A multiple regression analysis revealed that the most influential variables affecting recharge are, in order of decreasing importance, total annual precipitation average maximum soil-profile water storage during the spring months, average shallowest depth to water table during the same period, and spring rainfall rate. Classification methods, whereby relatively homogeneous hydrologic-unit areas based on the four recharge-affecting variables are identified, were combined with a Geographic Information Systems (ARC/INFO) overlay analysis to derive an area-wide map of differing recharge regions. This recharge zonation is in excellent agreement with the field-site recharge values. The resulting area-weighted average annual recharge for the region is 36 mm. ?? 1992.
Additional publication details
Groundwater recharge estimation and regionalization: the Great Bend Prairie of central Kansas and its recharge statistics