Geohydrology and water quality of confined-drift aquifers in the Brooten-Belgrade area, west-central Minnesota

Water-Resources Investigations Report 88-4124

Prepared in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Western Minnesota Resource Conservation and Development Association



Confined-drift aquifers in six aquifer zones identified in a 1,300-square-mile area of west-central Minnesota near Brooten and Belgrade range in thickness from 5 to 110 feet. Transmissivities generally range from 500 to 10,000 feet squared per day, and theoretical well yields generally range from 100 to 900 gallons per minute.

Regional ground-water flow in the confined-drift aquifers is to the southeast with local discharge to the East and Middle Branches of the Chippewa River, the North Fork Crow and Sauk Rivers, and to smaller streams, lakes, wetlands, and wells. Water levels near high-capacity pumped wells generally fluctuate 5 to 40 feet annually, compared to annual fluctuations of less than 5 feet in the unconfined aquifer.

Water from confined-drift aquifers generally is suitable for most uses. The water is hard to very hard and contains locally elevated concentrations of iron, manganese, and dissolved solids.

Results from a ground-water-flow model indicate that increased pumping from confined aquifers in the area would not adversely affect water levels. The addition of 10 to 20 hypothetical wells, pumping 123 to 246 million gallons per year, generally resulted in regional water-level declines of 0.1 to 1.0 feet. Simulations showed that the reduced recharge and increased pumping resulting from a 3-year drought probably would lower water levels between 5 and 10 feet regionally in the confined-drift aquifers and as much as 20 feet locally in the unconfined aquifer. Ground-water discharge to the East Branch Chippewa and North Fork Crow Rivers during the simulated drought would be reduced by 38 percent of 1984 conditions.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Geohydrology and water quality of confined-drift aquifers in the Brooten-Belgrade area, west-central Minnesota
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
St. Paul, MN
Contributing office(s):
Minnesota Water Science Center
vii, 138 p.
United States
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