Rates of water movement through the unsaturated zone greatly affect the amount and concentrations of agricultural chemicals that may reach the water table. For example, recharge can flush chemicals to the water table which have accumulated in the unsaturated zone during dry periods. A better understanding of how topography influences recharge and the movement of agricultural chemicals is needed. In 1991, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), with funding from the USGS Toxic Substances Hydrology Program, began studying the movement of water and agricultural chemicals to the water table at the Management Systems Evaluation Area (MSEA) near Princeton, Minnesota.
The primary objective of this four-year research study is to evaluate the effects of transient recharge, topography, and subsurface heterogeneities on the flux of water and agricultural chemicals to ground water. To achieve this objective the approach was to (1) install instruments to sample and measure the movement of water through the unsaturated zone beneath topographically high and low areas of a corn field; (2) conduct recharge and tracer tests in the field to evaluate the movement of water and agricultural chemicals at both topographic settings; and (3) simulate the field recharge and tracer tests in the laboratory. The primary research hypothesis was that the vertical flux of water and agricultural chemicals is greater in topographically low areas than in topographically high areas.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Title||Effects of focused recharge on the transport of agricultural chemicals at the Princeton, Minnesota Management Systems Evaluation Area, 1991-92|
|Series title||Open-File Report|
|Publisher||U.S. Geological Survey|
|Publisher location||Mounds View, MN|
|Contributing office(s)||Minnesota Water Science Center|
|Online Only (Y/N)||N|
|Additional Online Files (Y/N)||N|