Altitude of the Potentiometric Surface in the Mississippi River Valley Alluvial Aquifer, Spring 2018

Scientific Investigations Map 3453
Water Availability and Use Science Program
By: , and 



A potentiometric-surface map for spring 2018 was created for the Mississippi River Valley alluvial (MRVA) aquifer using available groundwater-altitude data from 1,126 wells completed in the MRVA aquifer and from the altitude of the top of the water surface in area rivers from 66 streamgages. Personnel from Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Geological Survey, Illinois Department of Agriculture, Illinois State Water Survey, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Yazoo Mississippi Delta Joint Water Management District, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service, and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) routinely collect groundwater-level data from wells screened in the MRVA aquifer. The USGS and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers routinely collect data on river stage and streamflow for the rivers overlying the MRVA aquifer area. The potentiometric-surface map for 2018 was created utilizing existing groundwater and surface-water altitudes to support investigations to characterize the MRVA aquifer as part of the USGS Water Availability and Use Science Program.

Sufficient data were available to map the potentiometric surface of the MRVA aquifer for spring 2018 for about 87 percent of the aquifer area. The potentiometric contours ranged from 10 to 340 feet above North American Vertical Datum of 1988. The regional direction of groundwater flow was generally to the south-southwest, except in areas of groundwater-altitude depressions, where groundwater flowed into the depression, and near rivers, where flow can be from aquifer to the river or from the river into the aquifer. There are large depressions in the potentiometric-surface map in the lower one-half of the Cache region and in most of the Grand Prairie and Delta regions.

Suggested Citation

McGuire, V.L., Seanor, R.C., Asquith, W.H., Nottmeier, A.M., Smith, D.C., Tollett, R.W., Kress, W.H., and Strauch, K.R., 2020, Altitude of the potentiometric surface in the Mississippi River Valley alluvial aquifer, spring 2018: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3453, 13 p., 5 sheets,

ISSN: 2329-132X (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Study Area Description
  • Data and Methods
  • Potentiometric-Surface Map, Spring 2018
  • Summary
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Altitude of the potentiometric surface in the Mississippi River Valley alluvial aquifer, spring 2018
Series title Scientific Investigations Map
Series number 3453
DOI 10.3133/sim3453
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Nebraska Water Science Center
Description Pamphlet: vi, 13 p.; 5 Sheets: 30.00 x 46.00 inches or smaller; Data Release
Country United States
Other Geospatial Mississippi River Valley alluvial aquifer
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details