Middle Genesee Lake is a ground-water flow-through lake located in a developing area in southeastern Wisconsin. Because the lake is in good connection with the shallow ground-water system, hydrologic stresses to the shallow ground-water system could adversely affect the lake system. In order to assess the effects of potential stresses on the lake, a study was completed by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Middle Genesee Lake Management District. The objective of the study was to identify areas that contribute ground water to the lake and estimate the hydrologic budget of the lake and hydraulic parameters affecting ground-water flow. A two-dimensional, steady-state analytic element model of the lake and surrounding area was developed using the computer code GFLOW. A parameter estimation model, UCODE, was used to optimize the calibration to measured water levels and streamflow.
The calibrated model was used to evaluate the effect of three hypothetical stress scenarios on the stage of Middle Genesee Lake; the simulations were linked to UCODE, which formally incorporated parameter uncertainty into 95-percent confidence intervals around the simulated value. The scenarios included: (1) pumping from upgradient irrigation wells, (2) pumping from Lower Genesee Lake to lower lake levels, and (3) reduction in recharge resulting from development. The results of the simulations demonstrated that lake levels could be affected by hydrologic stresses in the shallow hydrologic system, with effects ranging from a 2.7 feet decline in lake stage resulting from pumping in Lower Genesee Lake to a 0.1 feet decline in lake stage from development in part of the upgradient recharge area. The range of lake stage decline increased when parameter uncertainty was included, from a decline of 3.1 feet for pumping from Lower Genesee Lake to no reduction in lake stage for the development in the recharge area. Whereas these simulated effects are within the natural variation in lake stage, they represent a systematic reduction of ground-water flow to the lake. Therefore, these hypothetical stresses are expected to establish a new, lower, baseline lake stage over which the natural variation due to climatic effects are added and subtracted.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Simulation of the shallow hydrologic system in the vicinity of Middle Genesee Lake, Wisconsin, using analytic elements and parameter estimation
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey ;
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