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Plants as indicators of focused ground water discharge to a northern Minnesota lake

Ground Water

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Abstract

Determining the discharge of ground water to Shingobee Lake (66 ha), north-central Minnesota, is complicated by the presence of numerous springs situated adjacent to the lake and in the shallow portion of the lakebed. Springs first had to be located before these areas of more rapid discharge could be quantified. Two methods that rely on the distribution of aquatic plants are useful for locating springs. One method identifies areas of the near-shore lakebed where floating-leaf and emergent aquatic vegetation are absent. The second method uses the distribution of marsh marigold (Caltha palustris L.) to locate springs that discharge on land near the shoreline of the lake. Marsh marigold produces large (2 to 4 cm diameter) yellow flowers that provide a ready marker for locating ground water springs. Twice as many springs (38) were identified using this method as were identified using the lack of near-shore vegetation. A portable weir was used to measure discharge from onshore springs, and seepage meters were used to measure discharge from near-shore springs. Of the total 56.7 L s-1 that enters the lake from ground water, approximately 30% comes from onshore and near-shore springs.Determining the discharge of ground water to Shingobee Lake (66 ha), north-central Minnesota, is complicated by the presence of numerous springs situated adjacent to the lake and in the shallow portion of the lakebed. Springs first had to be located before these areas of more rapid discharge could be quantified. Two methods that rely on the distribution of aquatic plants are useful for locating springs. One method identifies areas of the near-shore lakebed where floating-leaf and emergent aquatic vegetation are absent. The second method uses the distribution of marsh marigold (Caltha palustris L.) to locate springs that discharge on land near the shoreline of the lake. Marsh marigold produces large (2 to 4 cm diameter) yellow flowers that provide a ready marker for locating ground water springs. Twice as many springs (38) were identified using this method as were identified using the lack of near-shore vegetation. A portable weir was used to measure discharge from onshore springs, and seepage meters were used to measure discharge from near-shore springs. Of the total 56.7 L s-1 that enters the lake from ground water, approximately 30% comes from onshore and near-shore springs.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Plants as indicators of focused ground water discharge to a northern Minnesota lake
Series title:
Ground Water
Volume
38
Issue:
2
Year Published:
2000
Language:
English
Publisher:
Natl Ground Water Assoc
Publisher location:
Westerville, OH, United States
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Ground Water
First page:
296
Last page:
303