Analysis of Chloride Data in the Alluvial Aquifer of Southeastern Arkansas

Science Center Objects

Short Title: Southeastern Arkansas Chloride Study
Project Chief: Brian Clark
Cooperator: Boeuf-Tensas Regional Irrigation Water Distribution District
Project Time Frame: July 2007 - September 2008

The Mississippi River Valley alluvial aquifer is one of the highest use aquifer systems in Arkansas. In localized areas, the chloride content has been observed to be high enough to limit the use of this water. High chloride concentrations can restrict use for consumption in domestic and public supply wells, and affect the quality necessary for many industrial uses.

The Mississippi River Valley alluvial aquifer is one of the highest use aquifer systems in Arkansas. In localized areas, the chloride content has been observed to be high enough to limit the use of this water. High chloride concentrations can restrict use for consumption in domestic and public supply wells, and affect the quality necessary for many industrial uses.

Use of water with high chloride concentration for irrigation can damage crops directly through burning of tissue or indirectly by changing the soil structure, which can cause fields to be damaged beyond use or repair. Water-quality in the alluvial aquifer has been discussed in many reports. Many of these reports have noted anomalously high chloride concentrations in the southern part of the alluvial aquifer in Arkansas, but little is known of the source and transport mechanisms leading to the degradation in water quality.

Map of Southeastern Arkansas Chloride study area.

The purpose of this study is to compile and interpret historical chloride data in the alluvial aquifer in southeastern Arkansas from as many sources as possible. The study area is defined by counties south of the Arkansas River within the alluvial aquifer, including Ashley, Chicot, Desha, Drew, Jefferson, and Lincoln Counties. A report will be produced with maps depicting areas of the alluvial aquifer that contain elevated chloride concentrations and will discuss potential sources of chloride, distribution and variability of chloride concentrations, and potential water-quality changes over time. The results from this report will be used to define areas of interest for future studies.

Publications

Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5193
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

Water-Resources Investigations Report 85-4029
Occurrence of saltwater in the alluvial aquifer in the Boeuf-Tensas basin, Arkansas,
by Fitzpatrick, D.J.

Open-File Report 73-34
Hydrology of the Bayou Bartholomew alluvial aquifer-stream system, Arkansas,
by Broom, M.E. and Reed, J.E