Projected effects of proposed chloride-control projects on shallow ground water; preliminary results for the Wichita River basin, Texas

Water-Resources Investigations Report 83-4026




The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' plan to control the natural chloride pollution in the Wichita River basin includes the construction of Truscott Brine Lake on a tributary of the North Wichita River. In connection with the proposed brine lake, the U.S. Geological Survey was requested to: (1) Define the existing ground-water conditions in the shallow fresh-water system of the project area; and (2) project the post-construction effects of the proposed lake on the fresh-water aquifer, especially in relation to hydraulic-head changes but also with respect to possible changes in the chemical quality of the ground water.

The fresh-water aquifer in the project area is a shallow water-table system with relatively fresh water (generally a calcium sulfate type) that contains approximately 500 to 5,000 milligrams per liter of dissolved solids. The aquifer consists of Permian rocks with very small values of hydraulic conductivity and overlies a brine system (sodium chloride type) that is even less permeable. A thin transition zone separates the fresh-water aquifer and the brine system. Small quantities of infiltration from precipitation throughout the area's watershed constitute the recharge to the aquifer. Discharge from the aquifer consists of the small base flow along creeks; well discharge is negligible.

Two-dimensional mathematical computer models were developed for aquifer simulation of: (1) Steady-state conditions in a fresh-water system and (2) transient conditions in a brine- fresh-water system where the density effects of the brine are considered. The main results 'of projecting the effects of the proposed Truscott Brine Lake on the fresh-water aquifer are: (1) Hydraulic head rises of 5 to 40 feet would be confined to areas near the proposed dam and along the lake shoreline, and (2) migration of salt water downstream from the dam generally would be limited to less than 1 mile and apparently would not reach equilibrium during the 100-year duration of the project. The modeling efforts did not include possible effects related to hydrodynamic dispersion in the brine- fresh-water system. Possible changes in the hydraulic conductivity of the aquifer, due to physical and chemical interactions in the brine and fresh-water environments, also were not considered.

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USGS Numbered Series
Projected effects of proposed chloride-control projects on shallow ground water; preliminary results for the Wichita River basin, Texas
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Austin, TX
Contributing office(s):
Texas Water Science Center
Report: v, 40 p.; 8 Plates: 13.37 x 9.25 inches or smaller
United States
Other Geospatial:
Wichita River Basin
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