Groundwater recharge is an important component to hydrologic studies but is known to vary considerably across the landscape. The purpose of this study was to examine 4 years of water-level behavior in a transect of four water-table wells installed at Walnut Creek, Iowa, USA to evaluate how groundwater recharge varied along a topographic gradient. The amount of daily water-table rise (WTR) in the wells was summed at monthly and annual scales and estimates of specific yield (Sy) were used to convert the WTR to recharge. At the floodplain site, Sy was estimated from the ratio of WTR to total rainfall and in the uplands was based on the ratio of baseflow to WTR. In the floodplain, where the water table is shallow, recharge occurred throughout the year whenever precipitation occurred. In upland areas where the water table was deeper, WTR occurred in a stepped fashion and varied by season. Results indicated that the greatest amount of water-table rise over the 4-year period was observed in the floodplain (379 mm), followed by the upland (211 mm) and sideslopes (122 mm). Incorporating spatial variability in recharge in a watershed will improve groundwater resource evaluation and flow and transport modeling. ?? Springer-Verlag 2008.
Additional publication details
Investigating local variation in groundwater recharge along a topographic gradient, Walnut Creek, Iowa, USA