USGS

 

U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5115—ONLINE ONLY

Surface-Water/Ground-Water Interaction along Reaches of the Snake River and Henrys Fork, Idaho

Prepared in cooperation with the
Idaho Department of Water Resources and
Idaho Power Company

By Jon E. Hortness, U.S. Geological Survey, and Peter Vidmar, Idaho Power Company

ABSTRACT

Declining water levels in the eastern Snake River Plain aquifer and decreases in spring discharges from the aquifer to the Snake River have spurred studies to improve understanding of the surface-water/ground-water interaction on the plain. This study was done to estimate streamflow gains and losses along specific reaches of the Snake River and Henrys Fork and to compare changes in gain and loss estimates to changes in ground-water levels over time. Data collected during this study will be used to enhance the conceptual model of the hydrologic system and to refine computer models of ground-water flow and surface-water/ground-water interactions.

Estimates of streamflow gains and losses along specific subreaches of the Snake River and Henrys Fork, based on the results of five seepage studies completed during 2001–02, varied greatly across the study area, ranging from a loss estimate of 606 ft3/s in a subreach of the upper Snake River near Heise to a gain estimate of 3,450 ft3/s in a subreach of the Snake River that includes Thousand Springs. Some variations over time also were apparent in specific subreaches. Surface spring flow accounted for much of the inflow to subreaches having large gain estimates. Several subreaches alternately gained and lost streamflow during the study.

Changes in estimates of streamflow gains and losses along some of the subreaches were compared with changes in water levels, measured at three different times during 2001–02, in adjacent wells. In some instances, a strong relation between changes in estimates of gains or losses and changes in ground-water levels was apparent.

CONTENTS

Abstract

Introduction

Purpose and scope

Description of study area

Previous investigations

Methods for estimating gains and losses

Data accuracy and limitations

Long-term gaging stations

Acoustic doppler measurements

Unmeasured areas

Error

Current-meter measurements

Irrigation-district records

Visual inspections

Streamflow gains and losses

Lower Reach (Snake River near Minidoka to Snake River at King Hill)

Middle Reach (Snake River near Shelley to Snake River near Minidoka

Upper Reach (Henrys Fork near Ashton to Henrys Fork at mouth, near Lorenzo/Snake River near Heise to Snake River near Shelley)

Comparisons of ground-water levels with streamflow gains and losses

Lower Reach (Snake River near Minidoka to Snake River at King Hill)

Middle Reach (Snake River near Shelley to Snake River near Minidoka)

Upper Reach (Henrys Fork near Ashton to Henrys Fork at mouth, near Lorenzo/Snake River near Heise to Snake River near Shelley)

Summary

References cited

Appendix A. Summary of streamflow data collected during five seepage studies and streamflow gain and loss estimates for the lower reach of the Snake River, between the near Minidoka and at King Hill gaging stations, Idaho, March 2001 through November 2002 (1.2 MB)

Appendix B. Summary of streamflow data collected during five seepage studies and streamflow gain and loss estimates for the middle reach of the Snake River, between the near Shelley and near Minidoka gaging stations, Idaho, April 2001 through November 2002 (1.2 MB)

Appendix C. Summary of streamflow data collected during four seepage studies and streamflow gain and loss estimates for the upper reach, along the Henrys Fork between the near Ashton gaging station and the mouth, near Lorenzo, and along the Snake River between the near Heise and near Shelley gaging stations, Idaho, October 2001 through November 2002 (1.2 MB)


 

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For more information about USGS activities in Idaho, visit the USGS Idaho District home page.

 


U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Persistent URL: http://pubs.water.usgs.gov/sir20045115
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Last modified: Thursday, January 10 2013, 06:38:09 PM
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