Simulation of a semi-permanent wetland basin in the Cottonwood Lake area, east-central North Dakota

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Edited by:
Hayes D.F.Hayes D.F.


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A coupled surface/subsurface hydrologic model was developed to examine the effects of climatic conditions on stage fluctuations within a semi-permanent wetland located in the Prairie Pothole region of east-central North Dakota. Model calibration was accomplished using data collected from 1981 to 1996 to encompass extreme climatic conditions. Results show that the processes of precipitation largely control wetland stage. Surface runoff produces short duration, high magnitude flows typically associated with spring thaw. On the other hand, groundwater contribution provides flows smaller in magnitude but higher in duration and these become increasingly important with respect to wetland stage during extended periods of drought and flood. Peak groundwater fluxes lag one-to-two months behind peak recharge rates and therefore occur predominantly during the month of June. Groundwater fluxes then attenuate slowly for the remainder of the year to the point where water may move out of the wetland and into the underlying aquifer during the fall and winter months. Despite an over simplification of the complex groundwater component of the wetland system it was found that this modeling approach was able to predict system response over 15 years, under extreme climatic conditions and with relatively easily attainable data input.

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Publication type:
Conference Paper
Publication Subtype:
Conference Paper
Simulation of a semi-permanent wetland basin in the Cottonwood Lake area, east-central North Dakota
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Conference Title:
Proceedings of the 2001 Wetlands Engineering and River Restoration Conference
Conference Location:
Reno, NV
Conference Date:
27 August 2001 through 31 August 2001