Ground-water/surface-water interaction in nearshore areas of Three Lakes on the Grand Portage Reservation, northeastern Minnesota, 2003-04

Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5034




The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Grand Portage Band of Chippewa Indians, applied three techniques to assess ground-water/surface-water interaction in nearshore areas of three lakes (North, Teal, and Taylor) on the Grand Portage Reservation in northeastern Minnesota. At each lake, analyses of existing aerial photographs, in-situ temperature measurements of shoreline lake sediment, and chemical analyses of surface water and pore water were conducted. Surface-water and pore-water samples were analyzed for major constituents, nutrients, and stable isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen. Bulk precipitation samples were collected and analyzed (1) for nutrient concentrations to determine nutrient input to the lakes through atmospheric deposition and (2) for stable isotope ratios of oxygen and hydrogen to determine a meteoric waterline that was needed for the stable isotope analyses of surface-water and pore-water samples. Total nitrogen concentrations in the precipitation samples ranged from 0.51 to 8.4 mg/L (milligrams per liter) as nitrogen at the North Lake precipitation station and from 0.42 to 2.3 mg/L as nitrogen at the Grand Portage precipitation station. Oxygen-18/oxygen-16 and deuterium/protium isotope ratios for the bulk precipitation samples lie relatively close to a meteoric waterline for northern Wisconsin, except for the ratios for samples collected on May 20, 2004. Analyses of existing aerial photographs, nearshore lake-sediment temperatures, and seasonal isotope ratios of surface-water and pore-water samples were the most valuable data for identifying locations of ground-water inflow and surface-water outseepage. Analyses of existing aerial photographs of the three lakes indicated the location of potential inflow channels and lineaments identifying potential ground-water inflow locations for pore-water sampling. Lake-sediment temperatures at potential ground-water inflow locations ranged from 4 to 16 ?C, varying between lakes, seasons, and climatic conditions. Major constituent chemistry was valuable at Taylor Lake, and to a limited extent at North and Teal Lakes, in confirming results from the isotope and lake-sediment temperature data. Ground-water inflow to North Lake likely occurs along the southwest and south shores, and along portions of the west, southeast, north, and northeast shores. Relatively cool lake-sediment temperatures along the southwest, south, west, and southeast shores, and in isolated beaver channels along the north and northeast shores of North Lake indicate potential ground-water inflow at these locations. Both localized ground-water inflow and surface-water outseepage occurs along portions of the north, northeast, southeast, and south shores, varying seasonally. Conflicting evidence for ground-water flow conditions exist for the northwest and north-northwest pore-water samples. Only minor differences in the major constituent concentrations were seen between the surface-water and pore-water samples from the North Lake area with the exception of iron and manganese concentrations. Ground-water inflow likely takes place along the south-southwest and north shores of Teal Lake, with a mixture of ground-water inflow and surface-water outseepage occurring in other areas of the lake. Cooler lake-sediment temperatures occurred along the south-southwest, west, and northwest shores, portions of the north shore, and in channels identified in aerial photographs throughout the lake, indicating potential ground-water inflow at those locations. Warmer lake-sediment temperatures along the northeast and portions of the southwest and northwest shores of Teal Lake indicate potential locations where surface-water outseepage or little ground- and surface-water interaction occurs. The major constituent concentrations were higher in the pore-water samples collected from the south-southwest and northeast shores of Teal Lake, indicating ground-water inflow. Cation adsorption, cation exchanges

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USGS Numbered Series
Ground-water/surface-water interaction in nearshore areas of Three Lakes on the Grand Portage Reservation, northeastern Minnesota, 2003-04
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Scientific Investigations Report
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Minnesota Water Science Center
56 p.
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