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Effects on ground-water levels in the Missouri River alluvial aquifer caused by changes in Missouri River stage, Fremont and Monona Counties, Iowa

Water-Resources Investigations Report 98-4235

Prepared in cooperation with the Fremont County Board of Supervisors
By:
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Abstract

An analysis of available hydrologic data was conducted to evaluate the effects on groundwater levels in the Missouri River alluvial aquifer caused by changes in Missouri River stage at selected sites in Fremont and Monona Counties in western Iowa. Daily mean ground-water levels and river stage measured during November 1995- September 1996, simulated daily mean river stage for November 1995-December 1996 derived from simulated daily mean discharge for eight alternative water-management plans for the Missouri River, and simulated daily mean ground-water levels for November 1995- December 1996 for selected water-management plans were used in the study. The measured data represent hydrologic conditions for the Current (1998) Water-Control Plan of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Ground-water levels in the alluvial aquifer vary in response to river stage, precipitation, proximity to drainage ditches, evapotranspiration, and pumpage. In Fremont County, measured ground-water levels generally were lower than river stage during the spring, summer, and fall months. In Monona County, measured ground-water levels generally were higher than river stage. Water levels in wells at distances greater than about 8,000 feet from the river in Fremont County and about 6,500 feet in Monona County likely were more affected by precipitation or proximity to drainage ditches than by river stage.

Changes in river stage likely affect groundwater levels in Fremont County to a greater degree than in Monona County. In Fremont County, the hydraulic gradient generally is from the river to the aquifer; in Monona County, the gradient generally is from the aquifer to the river. The response of ground- water levels to changes in river stage in Monona County is less apparent than in Fremont County. The higher ground-water levels in Monona County indicate that the effects of other factors, such as differences in recharge from precipitation and aquifer properties, are more dominant than in Fremont County.

Generally, the effects of simulated river stage caused higher simulated ground-water levels in Fremont and Monona Counties at distances less than 10,000 feet from the river during the spring months for selected alternatives to the Current Water-Control Plan that target increased benefits to fish and wildlife. Local hydrogeologic conditions will determine how significantly the possible 1- to 4-foot change in ground-water levels affects land use within 10,000 feet of the river. For example, lower river stage and ground-water levels during the mid-summer months could improve drainage in lowland areas during periods of greater-than-normal precipitation. Actual depth to ground water might be controlled by factors other than river stage, such as proximity to drainage ditches and local differences in recharge by precipitation, discharge from evapotranspiration, aquifer properties, and land-surface altitude.

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Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Effects on ground-water levels in the Missouri River alluvial aquifer caused by changes in Missouri River stage, Fremont and Monona Counties, Iowa
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
98-4235
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Iowa City, IA
Contributing office(s):
Iowa Water Science Center
Description:
iv, 32 p.
Country:
United States
State:
Iowa
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N