The application of an analytic element model to investigate groundwater-lake interactions at Pretty Lake, Wisconsin

Lake and Reservoir Management
By:  and 



Pretty Lake is a 64 acre, sandy-bottomed groundwater flow-through lake that has a history of hydrologic disturbance. Residents and regulators require a better understanding of lake-groundwater interaction to develop measures to protect the lake's hydrologic system and water quality. A groundwater flow model was constructed as a tool to synthesize field data collected at the site, delineate recharge areas that supply groundwater to the lake, and predict die effect of dredging an adjacent drainage ditch. The one layer, two-dimensional steady-state areal model used analytic element (AE) methods because they are quick to apply and include sophisticated simulation of groundwater-surface water interaction. The model calibrated well to groundwater heads (mean absolute difference = 0.05 m), lake stage (within 0.05 m) and ditch fluxes (mean absolute difference = 0.0023 m3·s−1). Model results showed that a single 1000 m wide recharge area supplies all the groundwater inflow to the lake. In addition, the model predicted that dredging an adjacent ditch by 3.0 m would lower the lake level by 0.31 m. The analytic element model was verified using a widely accepted finite-difference (FD) code; differences were less than ±0.015 m near die lake area and reached a maximum of 0.08 m at far corners of the FD grid. These differences are likely a result of die nodal interpolation inherent to FD techniques and error associated with applying a discrete boundary to die AE infinite aquifer. Although developed recently, AE methods have great potential to aid characterizations of groundwater-lake systems.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The application of an analytic element model to investigate groundwater-lake interactions at Pretty Lake, Wisconsin
Series title Lake and Reservoir Management
DOI 10.1080/07438149609354289
Volume 12
Issue 4
Year Published 1996
Language English
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Contributing office(s) Wisconsin Water Science Center
Description 9 p.
First page 487
Last page 495
Country United States
State Wisconsin
County Waukesha
Other Geospatial Pretty Lake
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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