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Simulation of ground-water flow in the Vevay Township area, Ingham County, Michigan

Open-File Report 2004-1270

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Abstract

Ground water is the primary source of water for domestic, public-supply, and industrial use within the Tri-County region that includes Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham Counties in Michigan. Because of the importance of this ground-water resource, numerous communities, including the city of Mason in Ingham County, have begun local Wellhead Protection Programs. In these programs, communities protect their groundwater resource by identifying the areas that contribute water to production wells and potential sources of contamination, and by developing methods to manage and minimize threats to the water supply. In addition, some communities in Michigan are concerned about water availability, particularly in areas experiencing water-level declines in the vicinity of quarry dewatering operations. In areas where Wellhead Protection Programs are implemented and there are potential threats to the water supply, residents and communities need adequate information to protect the water supply.

In 1996, a regional ground-water-flow model was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey to simulate ground-water flow in Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham Counties. This model was developed primarily to simulate the bedrock ground-waterflow system; ground-water flow in the unconsolidated glacial sediments was simulated to support analysis of flow in the underlying bedrock Saginaw aquifer. Since its development in 1996, regional model simulations have been conducted to address protection concerns and water availability questions of local water-resources managers. As a result of these continuing model simulations, additional hydrogeologic data have been acquired in the Tri-County region that has improved the characterization of the simulated ground-water-flow system and improved the model calibration. A major benefit of these updates and refinements is that the regional Tri-County model continues to be a useful tool that improves the understanding of the ground-water-flow system in the Tri-County region, provides local water-resources managers with a means to answer ground-water protection and availability questions, and serves as an example that can be applied in other areas of the state.

A refined version of the 1996 Tri-County regional ground-water-flow model, developed in 1997, was modified with local hydrogeologic information in the Vevay Township area in Michigan. This model, updated in 2003 for this study, was used to simulate ground-water flow to address groundwater protection and availability questions in Vevay Township. The 2003 model included refinement of glacial and bedrock hydraulic characteristics, better representation of the degree of connection between the glacial deposits and the underlying Saginaw aquifer, and refinement of the model cell size.

The 2003 model was used to simulate regional groundwater flow, to delineate areas contributing recharge and zones of contribution to production wells in the city of Mason, and to simulate the effects of present and possible future withdrawals. The areal extent of the 10- and 40-year areas contributing recharge and the zones of contribution for the city of Mason's production wells encompass about 2.3 and 6.2 square miles, respectively. Simulation results, where withdrawals for quarry operations were represented by one well pumping at 1.6 million gallons per day, indicate that water levels would decline slightly over 1 foot approximately 2 miles from the quarry in the glacial deposits and in the Saginaw aquifer. With a reduction of the local riverbed conductance or removal of local river model cells representing Mud Creek, water-level declines would extend further west of Mud Creek and further to the north, east, and south of the simulated quarry. Simulation results indicate that water withdrawn for quarry dewatering operations would decrease ground-water recharge to nearby Mud Creek, would increase ground-water discharge from Mud Creek, and that local water levels would be lowered as a result.

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Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Simulation of ground-water flow in the Vevay Township area, Ingham County, Michigan
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
2004-1270
Year Published:
2004
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Michigan Water Science Center
Description:
v, 34 p.
Country:
United States
State:
Michigan
County:
Ingham County
Other Geospatial:
Vevay Township Area