Hydrogeologic and water-quality characteristics of the Ironton- Galesville aquifer, southeast Minnesota

Water-Resources Investigations Report 82-4080

Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
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Quality of water in the Ironton-Galesville aquifer is generally acceptable for all kinds of uses. Calcium magnesium bicarbonate type water is most common. The dissolved-solids concentration ranges from about 200 to 1,000 milligrams per liter. The lowest values are in the northern part of the aquifer, where the bedrock is at or close to land surface, and the lowest ones are in the southwestern part, where leakage into the aquifer from overlying Cretaceous deposits is highly mineralized water. The concentrations of the major ions, except for bicarbonate and chloride, also increase toward the southwest. Confining beds protect the aquifer from surface pollutants, but high sulfate and iron concentrations and hardness degrade water quality locally in some places.

The aquifer was deposited from Paleozoic seas that occupied a shallow depression known as the Hollandale embayment. The surface of the Ironton-Galesville aquifer dips toward the interior of the embayment. The aquifer is as deep as 1,000 feet below land surface and as thick as 325 feet. The Ironton and Galesville Sandstones are both white and medium grained. The aquifer is used mainly in the northern and western parts of the study area, where it is the uppermost bedrock aquifer,

This report is one of a series on the hydrogeology and water quality of the 14 principal aquifers in Minnesota prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requested these studies because of the need for information to develop its Underground Injection Control Program.

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Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Hydrogeologic and water-quality characteristics of the Ironton- Galesville aquifer, southeast Minnesota
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Minnesota Water Science Center
2 Plates: 39.95 x 34.69 inches and 40.18 x 35.25 inches
United States
Other Geospatial:
Ironton-Galesville aquifer
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