Modeling Watershed Scale Groundwater Flow and Geochemistry

Cedar Creek Nitrate ConcentrationsGround water chemistry is reflective of time-weighted averages of anthropogenic inputs originating from spatial and temporal patterns of land use. We developed an approach to examine potential relationships between land use-derived solutes and baseflow surface water quality using regional ground water and solute transport models linked to GIS. Our first test of this approach estimated chloride concentrations in surface water due to road salt transport through ground water in Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay watershed.

Further development of  watershed-scale groundwater flow and transport models  has been undertaken to examine the impacts of various land uses on nitrate concentrations.  In Michigan, streams are predominantly groundwater-fed for much of the year.  Therefore, understanding groundwater nitrate concentrations and fluxes is vital to understanding stream water quality.  The figure on the left shows a preliminary simulation of total N concentrations in Cedar Creek, a small  subwatershed of the Muskegon River in central lower Michigan.

Related Publications:

Wood W.W. and Sanford W.E., 2007, Atmospheric bromine flux from the coastal Abu Dhabi sabkhat: A ground-water mass-balance investigation. Geophysical Research Letters, 34(14).

Tyler S.W., Munoz J.F., and Wood W.W., 2006, The response of playa and sabkha hydraulics and mineralogy to climate forcing. Ground Water, 44(3), 329-338.

Wood W.W., Sanford W.E., and Frape S., 2005, Chemical openness and potential for misinterpretation of the solute environment of coastal sabkhat. Chemical Geology, 215(1-4), 361-372.

Wayland, KG, DW Hyndman, DF Boutt, BC Pijanowski, DT Long, (2002), Modeling The Impact Of Historical Land Uses On Surface Water Quality Using Ground Water Flow And Solute Transport Models, Lakes and Reservoirs, (7), 189-199

Boutt, DF, DW Hyndman, BC Pijanowski, and DT Long, (2001), Modeling Impacts of Land Use on Groundwater and Surface Water Quality, Ground Water, 39 (1), 24-34

Related Conference Abstracts:

Welty, NR, DW Hyndman, (2005), Exploring Linkages Between Land Use and Hydroecology Using Multivariate Analysis and Process-Based Models, Eos Trans AGU, 86(18)

Kendall, AD, MC Spansky, and DW Hyndman, (2005), Using Dual-Region Calibration to Improve Recharge and Hydraulic Conductivity Estimates for Hydrologic Modeling, Eos Trans AGU, 86(18)

Welty, NR, DW Hyndman, and LA Panayotoff , (2004), Eco-hydrologic modeling of nutrients, oxygen, and temperature across a range of Michigan streams, AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, EOS, H51D-1175

Spansky, M, and DW Hyndman, (2004), Evaluating Nitrate Contributions from Different Land Use Types across a Regional Watershed Using Flow and Transport Models, AGU Spring Annual Meeting, EOS