A digital-computer model of the Big Sioux aquifer in Minnehaha County, South Dakota

Water-Resources Investigations Report 82-4064




A finite-difference digital model was used to simulate steady-state conditions of the Big Sioux aquifer in Minnehaha County. Average water levels and average base flow discharge (4.9 cu ft/s) of the Big Sioux River were based on data from 1970 through 1979. The computer model was calibrated for transient conditions by simulating monthly historic conditions for 1976. During 1976, pumpage was offset mostly by surface-water recharge to the aquifer from January through June and ground-water discharge from storage from July through December. Measured drawdowns during 1976 generally were less than 2 feet except in the Sioux Falls city well field where drawdowns were as much as 15 feet. The model was used to study the effects of increased withdrawals under three hypothetical hydrologic situations. One hypothetical situation consisted of using 1976 pumping rates, recharge, and evapotranspiration but the Big Sioux River dry. The pumping rate after 16 months was decreased by 40 percent from the actual pumping rate for that month in order to complete the monthly simulation without the storage being depleted at a nodal area. The second hypothetical situation consisted of a pumpage rate of 44.4 cubic feet per second from 60 wells spaced throughout the aquifer under historic 1976 hydrologic conditions. The results were that the aquifer could supply the additional withdrawal. The third hypothetical situation used the same hydrologic conditions as the second except that recharge was zero and the Big Sioux River was dry downstream from row 54. After 18 monthly simulations, the pumping rate was decreased by 44 percent to prevent pumping wells from depleting the aquifer, and, at that rate, 63 percent of the water being pumped was being replaced by water from the river. (USGS)

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A digital-computer model of the Big Sioux aquifer in Minnehaha County, South Dakota
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
vii, 56 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.