Groundwater discharge to the Mississippi River and groundwater balances for the Interstate 94 Corridor surficial aquifer, Clearwater to Elk River, Minnesota, 2012–14

Scientific Investigations Report 2017-5114
Prepared in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
By:

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Abstract

The Interstate 94 Corridor has been identified as 1 of 16 Minnesota groundwater areas of concern because of its limited available groundwater resources. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, completed six seasonal and annual groundwater balances for parts of the Interstate 94 Corridor surficial aquifer to better understand its long-term (next several decades) sustainability. A high-precision Mississippi River groundwater discharge measurement of 5.23 cubic feet per second per mile was completed at low-flow conditions to better inform these groundwater balances. The recharge calculation methods RISE program and Soil-Water-Balance model were used to inform the groundwater balances. For the RISE-derived recharge estimates, the range was from 3.30 to 11.91 inches per year; for the SWB-derived recharge estimates, the range was from 5.23 to 17.06 inches per year.

Calculated groundwater discharges ranged from 1.45 to 5.06 cubic feet per second per mile, a ratio of 27.7 to 96.4 percent of the measured groundwater discharge. Ratios of groundwater pumping to total recharge ranged from 8.6 to 97.2 percent, with the longer-term groundwater balances ranging from 12.9 to 19 percent. Overall, this study focused on the surficial aquifer system and its interactions with the Mississippi River. During the study period (October 1, 2012, through November 30, 2014), six synoptic measurements, along with continuous groundwater hydrographs, rainfall records, and a compilation of the pertinent irrigation data, establishes the framework for future groundwater modeling efforts.

Suggested Citation

Smith, E.A., Lorenz, D.L., Kessler, E.W., Berg, A.M., and Sanocki, C.A., 2017, Groundwater discharge to the Mississippi River and groundwater balances for the Interstate 94 Corridor surficial aquifer, Clearwater to Elk River, Minnesota, 2012–14: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5114, 54 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20175114.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Groundwater Discharge to the Mississippi River
  • Groundwater Balances for the Interstate 94 Corridor Surficial Aquifer
  • Limitations and Assumptions
  • Summary
  • References Cited
  • Appendix 1. Monthly Water Usage, Calendar Years 2013–14
  • Appendix 2. Synoptic Water-Level Measurements, Water Years 2013–14
  • Appendix 3. Food and Agriculture Organization Penman-Monteith Reference Evapotranspiration Rates, 2012–14
  • Appendix 4. Low-Flow Study, Total Streamflow Measurements

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Groundwater discharge to the Mississippi River and groundwater balances for the Interstate 94 Corridor surficial aquifer, Clearwater to Elk River, Minnesota, 2012–14
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2017-5114
DOI 10.3133/sir20175114
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Minnesota Water Science Center
Description Report: ix, 54 p.; Appendix Tables; Data Release
Country United States
State Minnesota
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y