Water levels were measured monthly at 9 staff gages and 35 wells along two transects within the Black Swamp bottomland hardwood wetland and perpendicular to the Cache River in eastern Arkansas from December 1989 to September 1992 in order to (1) describe the ground-water-flow conditions at locations within a bottomland hardwood wetland and (2) determine the relation between the frequency of different ground-water-flow conditions and physical characteristics within the wetland. Three ground-water-flow conditions predominated at various times in the Black Swamp: (1) discharge of water from the alluvial aquifer to the wetland, (2) recharge of water from the wetland into the alluvial aquifer, and (3) flow of water from the wetland into the alluvial aquifer and then to the nearby Cache River (local flow). Analyses of hydraulic head differences between surface and ground water indicate that discharge occurred 31% of the measurement times at both transects. Recharge occurred 39% of the measurement times and tended to occur more often at locations that are far from the Cache River and that overlie low ground-water levels in the lower part of the alluvial aquifer. Local ground-water flow occurred 28% of the measurement times and tended to occur more often at locations close to the Cache River. Ground-water pumpage results in water-level declines in the lower part of the alluvial aquifer near the Black Swamp wetland. When compared with an area not affected by pumping, these lower ground-water levels increased the frequency of recharge of Black Swamp water into the alluvial aquifer by nearly a factor of 7, decreased the frequency of local ground-water flow to the Cache River to less than half, and decreased the frequency of discharge by about 22%.
Additional publication details
Ground-water-flow conditions within a bottomland hardwood wetland, Eastern Arkansas