The Matanuska-Susitna Valley is in the northeastern part of the Cook Inlet Basin, Alaska, an area experiencing rapid population growth and development proximal to many lakes. Here water commonly flows between lakes and ground water, indicating interrelation between water quantity and quality. Thus concerns exist that poorer quality ground water may degrade local lake ecosystems. This concern has led to water-quality sampling in cooperation with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. A map showing the estimated altitude of the water table illustrates potential ground-water flow directions and areas where ground- and surface-water exchanges and interactions might occur. Water quality measured in selected wells and lakes indicates some differences between ground water and surface water.
'The temporal and spatial scarcity of ground-water-level and water-quality data limits the analysis of flow direction and water quality. Regionally, the water-table map indicates that ground water in the eastern and southern parts of the study area flows southerly. In the northcentral area, ground water flows predominately westerly then southerly. Although ground and surface water in most areas of the Matanuska-Susitna Valley are interconnected, they are chemically different. Analyses of the few water-quality samples collected in the area indicate that dissolved nitrite plus nitrate and orthophosphorus concentrations are higher in ground water than in surface water.'
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Preliminary Water-Table Map and Water-Quality Data for Part of the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, Alaska, 2005