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Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5193

Prepared in cooperation with Boeuf-Tensas Regional Irrigation Water Distribution District

Occurrence, Distribution, Sources, and Trends of Elevated Chloride Concentrations in the Mississippi River Valley Alluvial Aquifer in Southeastern Arkansas

By Timothy M. Kresse and Brian R. Clark

Abstract

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Water-quality data from approximately 2,500 sites were used to investigate the distribution of chloride concentrations in the Mississippi River Valley alluvial aquifer in southeastern Arkansas. The large volume and areal distribution of the data used for the investigation proved useful in delineating areas of elevated (greater than 100 milligrams per liter) chloride concentrations, assessing potential sources of saline water, and evaluating trends in chloride distribution and concentration over time. Irrigation water containing elevated chloride concentrations is associated with negative effects to rice and soybeans, two of the major crops in Arkansas, and a ground-water chloride concentration of 100 milligrams per liter is recommended as the upper limit for use on rice. As such, accurately delineating areas with high salinity ground water, defining potential sources of chloride, and documenting trends over time is important in assisting the agricultural community in water management.

The distribution and range of chloride concentrations in the study area revealed distinct areas of elevated chloride concentrations. Area I includes an elongated, generally northwest-southeast trending band of moderately elevated chloride concentrations in the northern part of the study area. This band of elevated chloride concentrations is approximately 40 miles in length and varies from approximately 2 to 9 miles in width, with a maximum chloride concentration of 360 milligrams per liter. Area II is a narrow, north-south trending band of elevated chloride concentrations in the southern part of the study area, with a maximum chloride concentration of 1,639 milligrams per liter. A zone of chloride concentrations exceeding 200 milligrams per liter is approximately 25 miles in length and 5 to 6 miles in width.

See Report PDF for full abstract.

First posted January 22, 2009

For additional information contact:

U.S. Geological Survey
Arkansas Water Science Center
401 Hardin Road
Little Rock, AR 72211-3528

http://ar.water.usgs.gov/

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Suggested citation:

Kresse, T.M., and Clark, B.R., 2008, Occurrence, distribution, sources, and trends of elevated chloride concentrations in the Mississippi River Valley alluvial aquifer in southeastern Arkansas: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5193, 34 p.



Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Geology

Hydrogeology

Methods

Occurrence and Distribution of Chloride Concentrations

Evaluation of Temporal Trends in Chloride Concentration and Distribution

Summary

References Cited

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