The cities of Kingsford and Iron Mountain are in the southwestern part of Dickinson County in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Residents and businesses in these cites rely primarily on ground water from aquifers in glacial deposits. Glacial deposits generally consist of an upper terrace sand-and-gravel unit and a lower outwash sand-and-gravel unit, separated by lacustrine silt and clay and eolian silt layers. These units are not regionally continuous, and are absent in some areas. Glacial deposits overlie Precambrian bedrock units that are generally impermeable. Precambrian bedrock consists of metasedimentary (Michigamme Slate, Vulcan Iron Formation, and Randville Dolomite) and metavolcanic (Badwater Greenstone and Quinnesec Formation) rocks. Where glacial deposits are too thin to compose an aquifer usable for public or residential water supply, Precambrian bedrock is relied upon for water supply. Typically a few hundred feet of bedrock must be open to a wellbore to provide adequate water for domestic users. Ground-water flow in the glacial deposits is primarily toward the Menominee River and follows the direction of the regional topographic slope and the bedrock surface. To protect the quality of ground water, Kingsford and Iron Mountain are developing Wellhead Protection Plans to delineate areas that contribute water to public-supply wells. Because of the complexity of hydrogeology in this area and historical land-use practices, a steady-state ground-water-flow model was prepared to represent the ground-water-flow system and to delineate contributing areas to public-supply wells. Results of steady-state simulations indicate close agreement between simulated and observed water levels and between water flowing into and out of the model area. The 10-year contributing areas for Kingsford's public-supply wells encompass about 0.11 square miles and consist of elongated areas to the east of the well fields. The 10-year contributing areas for Iron Mountain's public-supply wells encompass about 0.09 square miles and consist of elongate areas to the east of the well field.
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USGS Numbered Series
Ground-water flow and contributing areas to public-supply wells in Kingsford and Iron Mountain, Michigan