Exploring Dynamic Interactions Between Surface Water and Groundwater

The interaction between groundwater and that on the surface is not understood well. Its aspects are both complex and in want of better ways to measure such things as stream flow. There is a need for newer methods to be found in order that we can more fully understand these systems and help maintain them.

Through looking at both the Au Sable and Manistee River basins’ headwaters, our objective of this project is to develop methods to increase our knowledge of temperature, stream flow rates, groundwater recharge rates, etc. in these areas. In a two year span, forty gages are to be installed in both the headwaters of the Manistee and the Au Sable rivers. Though the state does have groundwater assessment tools out there, the system is not focused on the headwaters. We are creating a much denser network to narrow in on these specific places in the river system to add to the overall knowledge of rivers.

By creating a detailed network of stream gaging in these two areas, we hope this will in turn provide a basis for further research projects. Our findings will be able to help in dealing with the above such measurements in areas across the lower Peninsula of Michigan, more specifically in the areas of groundwater and recharge processes. Also, by assessing the use of such gages, we can analyze other impacts on the headwaters, such as climate changes, land use changes, and possible managing methods for various fisheries statewide.

The procedure for this project is as follows:

Task 1: Install Stream Gauging Stations

Task 2: Collect Stream Flow Measurements

Task 3: Monitor Basic in Stream Chemistry (conductivity, pH, temperature, ORP)

Task 4: Write Report

The PI for this project is Dr. David Hyndman. Funding is provided from both the State and the Anglers of the Au Sable for a two year study.

Project Photos: