Numerical simulation analysis of the interaction of lakes and ground water

Professional Paper 1001



Because the interrelationship of lakes and ground water is perhaps the least understood aspect of lake hydrology, vertical-section, steadystate, numerical-model simulations were run to evaluate the factors that control the interaction of lakes and ground water. The study is concerned only with lakes encircled by water-table mounds that are at a higher altitude than lake level. Simulations of one-lake and multiple-lake systems in vertical sections show that for many hydrogeologic settings, the line (divide) separating local from regional ground-water flow systems is continuous beneath individual lakes. If the divide is continuous, there exists a point along it at which the head is a minimum compared to all other points along the divide. This point of minimum head is always greater than the head represented by lake level, therefore in such a setting there can be no movement of lake water through the lake bed to the ground-water system. In a setting where the divide is not continuous, the lake loses water through part of its bed, but rarely in the littoral zone of the lake.

Factors that strongly influence the position, shape, and continuity of the flow-system divide beneath lakes are height of the water table on the downslope side of the lake relative to lake level, position and hydraulic conductivity of aquifers within the ground-water reservoir, ratio of horizontal to vertical hydraulic conductivity of the groundwater system, and lake depth.

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Numerical simulation analysis of the interaction of lakes and ground water
Series title Professional Paper
Series number 1001
DOI 10.3133/pp1001
Year Published 1976
Language English
Publisher U.S. Government Printing Office
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) North Dakota Water Science Center, Dakota Water Science Center
Description iv, 45 p.
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