Tonkawa Tribe Groundwater Survey

Science Center Objects

The objective of this study is to analyze the alluvial aquifer of the Chikaskia River to determine the potential for additional groundwater resources for the Tonkawa Tribe’s water supply. This investigation will examine the depth, lithology, hydraulic properties, and general water quality of the Chikaskia River alluvial aquifer.

Geoprobe fieldwork at Tonkawa, OK

Geoprobe fieldwork at Tonkawa, OK(Credit: Matthew Varonka. Public domain.)

SUMMARY

The Chikaskia River alluvial aquifer is a system of unconsolidated alluvial and terrace deposits in north central Oklahoma located near Tonkawa Tribal lands. The Chikaskia River is a tributary of the Salt Fork of the Arkansas River and joins the Salt Fork of the Arkansas River 4 miles southeast of the town of Tonkawa in Kay County, Oklahoma. Groundwater from that alluvial aquifer in the area is used for municipal and self-supplied domestic water supplies. Duck Creek is also a tributary to the Chikaskia River running east of the river and joins the Chikaskia River less than a mile east of the Tonkawa Tribal complex. The town of Tonkawa relies on the alluvial aquifer located near the confluences of Duck Creek and Chikaskia River with approximately 10 wells completed to depths of less than 50 feet with yields ranging from 50-80 gallons per minute.

            The Tonkawa Tribe is interested in analyzing the alluvial aquifer of the Chikaskia River to determine potential additional groundwater resources for water supply. The area of interest is located east of the town of Tonkawa, Oklahoma within the extent of the Chikaskia alluvial aquifer.

            The investigation, to be performed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), will examine the depth, lithology, hydraulic properties, and general water quality of the Chikaskia River alluvial aquifer. The data and information from this investigation will assist the Tonkawa Tribe in cooperation with the US Army Corps of Engineers in identifying ideal well locations and determining the potential of long term sustainability of pumping.

 

OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE

The objectives of this project are to provide data and information to the Tonkawa Tribe about the depth, lithology, hydrologic properties, and pumping capacity of the Chikaskia River alluvial aquifer. The particular area of interest to the Tonkawa Tribe is east of the Tonkawa Tribal Complex within the extent of the Chikaskia River alluvial aquifer.

RELEVANCE AND BENEFITS

The project will provide the Tonkawa Tribe with needed hydrogeologic data to make informed decisions about groundwater development. The investigation supports the USGS Cooperative Water Program Priority Activities to maintain water resource monitoring and assessments on Tribal lands and supports the USGS Water Resources Mission to provide reliable, impartial, timely information that contributes to wise physical development of the Nation’s resources for the benefit of present and future generations.