Simulation of ground-water flow, surface-water flow, and a deep sewer tunnel system in the Menomonee Valley, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5031
In cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, and City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
By: , and 



Numerical models were constructed for simulation of ground-water flow in the Menomonee Valley Brownfield, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. An understanding of ground-water flow is necessary to develop an efficient program to sample ground water for contaminants. Models were constructed in a stepwise fashion, beginning with a regional, single-layer, analytic-element model (GFLOW code) that provided boundary conditions for a local, eight layer, finite-difference model (MODFLOW code) centered on the Menomonee Valley Brownfield. The primary source of ground water to the models is recharge over the model domains; primary sinks for ground water within the models are surface-water features and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District Inline Storage System (ISS). Calibration targets were hydraulic heads, surface-water fluxes, vertical gradients, and ground-water infiltration to the ISS. Simulation of ground-water flow by use of the MODFLOW model indicates that about 73 percent of recharge within the MODFLOW domain circulates to the ISS and 27 percent discharges to gaining surface-water bodies. In addition, infiltration to the ISS comes from the following sources: 36 percent from recharge within the model domain, 45 percent from lateral flow into the domain, 15 percent from Lake Michigan, and 4 percent from other surface-water bodies. Particle tracking reveals that the median traveltime from the recharge point to surface-water features is 8 years; the median time to the ISS is 255 years. The traveltimes to the ISS are least over the northern part of the valley, where dolomite is near the land surface. The distribution of traveltimes in the MODFLOW simulation is greatly influenced by the effective porosity values assigned to the various lithologies.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Simulation of ground-water flow, surface-water flow, and a deep sewer tunnel system in the Menomonee Valley, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2004-5031
DOI 10.3133/sir20045031
Year Published 2004
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s) Wisconsin Water Science Center
Description vi, 40 p.
Country United States
State Wisconsin
City Milwaukee
Other Geospatial Menominee Valley
Scale 48
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details