thumbnail

Recalibration of a ground-water flow model of the Mississippi River Valley alluvial aquifer in Southeastern Arkansas, 1918, with simulations of hydraulic heads caused by projected ground-water withdrawals through 2049

Water-Resources Investigations Report 2003-4232

By:
,

Links

Abstract

The Mississippi River Valley alluvial aquifer, encompassing parts of Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee supplies an average of 5 billion gallons of water per day. However, withdrawals from the aquifer in recent years have caused considerable drawdown in the hydraulic heads in southeastern Arkansas and other areas. The effects of current ground-water withdrawals and potential future withdrawals on water availability are major concerns of water managers and users as well as the general public. A full understanding of the behavior of the aquifer under various water-use scenarios is critical for the development of viable water-management and alternative source plans. To address these concerns, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg District, and the Arkansas Soil and Water Conservation Commission developed and calibrated a ground-water flow model for the Mississippi River valley alluvial aquifer in southeastern Arkansas to simulate hydraulic heads caused by projected ground-water withdrawals. A previously published ground-water flow model for the alluvial aquifer in southeastern Arkansas was updated and recalibrated to reflect more current pumping stresses with additional stress periods added to bring the model forward from 1982 to 1998. The updated model was developed and calibrated with MODFLOW-2000 finite difference numerical modeling and parameter estimation software. The model was calibrated using hydraulic-head data collected during 1972 and 1982 and hydraulic-head measurements made during spring (February to April) of 1992 and 1998. The residuals for 1992 and 1998 have a mean absolute value of 4.74 and 5.45 feet, respectively, and a root mean square error of 5.9 and 6.72 feet, respectively. The effects of projected ground-water withdrawals were simulated through 2049 in three predictive scenarios by adding five additional stress periods of 10 years each. In the three scenarios, pumpage was defined by either continuing 1997 pumpage into the future (scenario 1) or by continuing water-use trends into the future (scenario 2), and increasing water-use trends with a 10 percent reduction in pumpage in selected areas (scenario 3). Scenario 1 indicates a cone of depression centered in Desha County and extensive dewatering with areas of simulated hydraulic heads dropping below 50 percent saturated thickness. Scenario 2 indicates a larger area of simulated hydraulic heads dropping below 50 percent saturated thickness and additional dewatering with model cells going dry and smaller cones of depression appearing in Ashley and Chicot Counties. Scenario 3 indicates overall reduction in depth and extent of the cones of depression of those in scenario 2, and the number of dry cells are only about two-thirds that of dry cells in scenario 2.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Recalibration of a ground-water flow model of the Mississippi River Valley alluvial aquifer in Southeastern Arkansas, 1918, with simulations of hydraulic heads caused by projected ground-water withdrawals through 2049
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
2003-4232
Edition:
-
Year Published:
2003
Language:
ENGLISH
Description:
51 p.