Minnesota Water Science Center
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Project Title: Characterizing Groundwater and Surface-Water Interactions in White Bear Lake, Minnesota
Objective: Characterize groundwater and surface-water interactions in White Bear Lake and the response of lake water levels to changes in precipitation and groundwater flow conditions.
Progress During FY11: Meetings were conducted with potential cooperators to outline the study. A draft proposal was written and presented to potential cooperators. Final agreements were signed between the USGS and the White Bear Lake Conservation District and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Researchers from the University of Minnesota collected lake sediment cores to determine the thicknesses of low-permeable organic sediments. Two groundwater-level synoptic studies were completed. Water-levels were measured in municipal, domestic, monitoring, and commercial wells screened or opened to glacial or bedrock (St. Peter Sandstone and Prairie du Chine Group) aquifers. USGS hydrologists conducted a water-quality mapping survey of White Bear Lake using a water-quality autonomous underwater vehicle to assess groundwater and surface water interactions. Lake sediment temperature surveys were conducted along the lake shores. Water sasmples, including lake water, groundwater, lake-sediment-pore water, and rain water samples, were collected for isotope and other water-quality analyses to assess the water balance of White Bear Lake. Groundwater flow rates into and out of White Bear Lake were measured along the lake shore. Seepage meters and minipiezometers were used to measure flow rates and groundwater levels, respectively, in lake shore sediments. Large groundwater inflow rates to the lake were found at along the east and south shores of White Bear Lake. USGS hydrologists conducted a water-quality survey of White Bear Lake using autonomous underwater vehicle with a multi-parameter probes. The survey was done to identify potential areas of groundwater inflow to the lake.
Statement of Work for FY12: Prepare hydrologic and water-quality data into the USGS data bases. Analysis of data will be completed and a draft final report for the project will be prepared and published.
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