Water resources of the Menominee Indian Reservation of Wisconsin

Water-Resources Investigations Report 93-4053

Prepared in cooperation with the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin
, , and



Water resources of the Menominee Indian Reservation, Wisconsin, were investigated during the period October 1981 through September 1987. The report presents baseline data and some interpretation of ground- and surface-water hydrology and quality of the Reservation.

The area stratigraphy consists of basal Precambrian crystalline bedrock and overlying till and sand and gravel deposits. In the Reservation, the glacial deposits range in thickness from zero to 180 feet. The bedrock aquifer is composed of fractured and weathered Precambrian bedrock within about 20 feet of the upper bedrock surface.  The sand and gravel aquifer is composed of saturated, permeable sand and gravel that occurs as layers, lenses, terrace deposits, and valley fillings.  The glacial material has a saturated thickness ranging from approximately 150 feet to zero feet in areas where the Precambrian bedrock crops out. Water-table conditions commonly occur in both aquifers. Horizontal hydraulic conductivity of the sand and gravel and bedrock aquifers is estimated to be 5 and 0.3 feet per day, respectively.

The Wolf River and its tributaries drain the Reservation except for the eastern quarter, which is drained by the South Branch of the Oconto River. The average discharge of the Wolf River, monitored continuously during 1907-85 at Keshena Falls near Keshena, was 762 ft 3/s (cubic feet per second). Maximum instantaneous discharge was 5,200 ft3/s recorded on March 15, 1973, and the minimum was 91 ft3/s recorded on December 22,1939. Low flow and flood-frequency characteristics for the Wolf River were estimated using mean-daily discharge for the period of record at Keshena Falls.

Ground water from the sand and gravel and bedrock aquifers is a calcium magnesium bicarbonate type. The composition of waters from the two aquifers is similar because water recharging the bedrock aquifer is from the overlying sand and gravel aquifer. Iron or manganese concentrations exceeding secondary maximum contaminant levels were found in water samples from approximately one-quarter to one-half of the wells sampled.

Approximately three-quarters of the groundwater sampled during the study is moderately hard to very hard, with a median hardness equal to 171 mg/L (milligrams per liter) (as calcium carbonate)for the sand and gravel aquifer and 165mg/L (as calcium carbonate) for the bedrock aquifer.  Alkalinity of the ground water ranged from26 to 211 mg/L, with a median value of 182 mg/L(as calcium carbonate) for the sand and gravel aquifer and ranged from 72 to 250 mg/L, with a median value of 170 mg/L (as calcium carbonate)for the bedrock aquifer.

Water samples collected from Reservation streams and lakes were similar to ground water (calcium magnesium bicarbonate type), reflecting the strong surface-water/ground-water interaction in the study area. The chemical composition of water from lakes having inlets or outlets indicate that they are not influenced by precipitation as much as lakes that do not have inlets or outlets.



Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Water resources of the Menominee Indian Reservation of Wisconsin
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
Wisconsin Water Science Center
Report: v, 54 p.; 4 Plates: 19.20 x 16.56 inches or smalller
United States
Other Geospatial:
Menominee Indian Reservation
Online Only (Y/N):
Additional Online Files (Y/N):