Hydrology and model study of the proposed Prosperity Reservoir, Center Creek Basin, southwestern Missouri

Water-Resources Investigations Report 80-7
By:  and 



A dam and reservoir have been proposed for construction on Center Creek, Jasper County, in southwestern Missouri. Ground-water levels in the hills adjacent to the reservoir will rise when the impoundment is completed. One of the problems is that the proposed site of Prosperity Reservoir is a few miles upstream from the lead-zinc mining area known as the Oronogo-Duenweg belt. In this belt transmissivities are variable but appear to be higher than they are in the immediate area of the reservoir.

Grove Creek lies down-gradient from the reservoir area and separates it from the mining belt. A model study indicates that inflow from the proposed reservoir to the water table could cause water level rises varying from about 20 feet near the reservoir to 0.5 to 1.0 foot in the southern part of Grove Creek drainage basin. These rises will cause significant changes to the natural ground-water flow system. Increased ground-water elevations in the reservoir area could result in increased ground-water gradients and discharge to Grove and Center Creeks. The increase in ground-water discharge to Grove Creek, and in turn Center Creek, will have the beneficial effect of diluting mine-water discharge from the Oronogo-Duenweg belt during periods of low flow.

However, if Grove Creek does not act as an effective drain and if conduits extend beneath Grove Creek to transfer the increased water available to the Oronogo-Duenweg belt, the flow regimen could change in the mining belt west of Grove Creek increasing mine-water discharge to Center Creek downstream from the reservoir.

Bedrock in the area is Mississippian limestone, the deeply solutioned formation that contained the ore deposits. The limestone in the mining district was greatly altered by solution prior to ore deposition while the limestone in the area of the reservoir was altered less. The extent of the alteration is related to the aquifer characteristics in that high and low values of transmissivity and storage coefficient correspond to greatly altered brecciated rocks in the mining district and less altered, less brecciated rocks in the reservoir area, respectively.

The authors suggest that an ancestral east-flowing White River drained the area about Joplin in Late Mississippian time. This is based on the configuration of the contact between Meramecian and Osagean rocks of Mississippian age. A high topographic area existed in the region about Joplin in which the water table stood 200 feet below the land surface when sinkholes and caverns of that depth were formed. The large number of Pennsylvanian-filled sinkholes in the Joplin area and the smaller number to the east suggest a higher land surface to the west than that to the east. The distribution of paleokarst sinkholes supports the conclusion based on the configuration of the Meramecian-Osagean contact.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Hydrology and model study of the proposed Prosperity Reservoir, Center Creek Basin, southwestern Missouri
Series title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number 80-7
DOI 10.3133/wri807
Year Published 1980
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Description iv, 50 p.
Country United States
State Missouri
Other Geospatial Center Creek Basin
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