The Mississippi River Valley alluvial aquifer (MRVA) caps a shallow system of aquifers and confining units in the Mississippi Alluvial Plain (MAP) that extends across 45,000 square miles of the midwestern and southern United States from Illinois to Louisiana. Irrigation water from the MRVA is required to sustain extensive crop production, which has resulted in groundwater-level declines since the late 1920s equal to nearly half of its thickness and in reduced baseflow of streams. Increased groundwater withdrawal for irrigation is expected to continue and threatens complete and irreversible aquifer dewatering (depletion). The exact amount of dewatering in the MRVA is uncertain because its vertical extent is poorly defined and the effects of groundwater withdrawal on the aquifer are not well understood. To provide stakeholders and managers with information and tools that promote understanding of the hydrogeologic framework of the MAP extent and its role in water-resource management, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Water Availability and Use Science Program has funded a 5-year effort to assess groundwater availability and project future sustainability of water resources. Part of this study involves mapping the bottom altitude and thickness of the aquifer by using compilations of hydrogeologic data and applications of geostatistical analytics. Results of this mapping effort, presented here, are intended to enhance characterization of the shallow hydrogeologic framework and direct future airborne, ground-based, and waterborne geophysical surveys. Data used in support of the findings presented in this report are available as a USGS data release (https://doi.org/10.5066/P9D9XR5F).
Torak, L.J., and Painter, J.A., 2019, Geostatistical estimation of the bottom altitude and thickness of the Mississippi River Valley alluvial aquifer: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3426, 2 sheets, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3426.
ISSN: 2329-132X (online)
Table of Contents
- Data Compilation, Processing, and Filtering Prior to Estimation
- Geostatistical Analytics
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Title||Geostatistical estimation of the bottom altitude and thickness of the Mississippi River Valley alluvial aquifer|
|Series title||Scientific Investigations Map|
|Publisher||U.S. Geological Survey|
|Publisher location||Reston, VA|
|Contributing office(s)||South Atlantic Water Science Center, Georgia Water Science Center|
|Description||2 Plates: 28 x 34 inches; Data Release|
|Online Only (Y/N)||Y|