Appraisal of the Pelican River sand-plain aquifer, west-central Minnesota

Open-File Report 82-347




The Pelican River sand-plain area includes approximately 200 squares miles of outwash deposits in parts of Becker, Otter Trail, and Clay Counties in west-central Minnesota. Saturated thickness of the outwash is as much as 140 feet and yields and properly constructed wells locally may exceed 1,200 gallons per minute. Recharge to the outwash from snowmelt and rain ranged from 3.2 to 6.1 inches in 1979-80. Discharge from the aquifer, as base flow of the Pelican River averaged 2.0 inches for 1979-80. Evapotranspiration is 22.4 inches per year. The chemical quality of ground-water is suitable for irrigation as measured by sodium-adsorption ratios, but locally high concentrations of calcium, magnesium, and bicarbonate may cause clogging of well screens. Mathematical models of parts of the ground-water-flow system indicate that lake levels and streamflow may decline due to pumping wells. The exact water-level decline is dependent on the total number of wells, pumping rates, location of pumping wells with respect to one another and surface-water bodies, duration of pumping, and the amount of ground-water recharge. Sensitivity analyses of the models indicates that additional data on hydraulic conductivity, evapotranspiration, and recharge may increase the reliability of model results. Buried aquifers are known to be present in the area. Aquifer-test results showed that pumping from a buried aquifer had no effect on water levels in the unconfined aquifer. (USGS)

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Appraisal of the Pelican River sand-plain aquifer, west-central Minnesota
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Open-File Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
v, 79 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.