Groundwater/Surface-Water Level Interactions in a Restored Wetland and the Adjacent Grand Calumet River, Lake County, Indiana

Science Center Objects

In cooperation with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Clark Pine Station

Clark Pine Station site photo

(USGS)

 

Overview

The Pine Station and adjacent Clark-Pine Nature Preserves were established as part of wetland restoration activities by trustee agencies in the Natural Resource Damage Assessment in the Grand Calumet-Indiana Harbor Canal Area of Concern (AOC). Pine Station Nature Preserve is an approximately 280-acre property that is composed of about 50 acres of remnant dune and swale wetlands and about 100 acres of dune ridges that were previously surface mined for sand. Clark-Pine Nature Preserve is a 40-acre property that represents one the highest quality dune and swale habitats in Indiana. These preserves and their associated wetlands are intended to mitigate damage to other wetlands in the AOC by restoring residual dune and swale wetlands and preserving several State endangered and threatened plant species. Water-level fluctuations and groundwater/surface-water interactions are a key control on the viability of plant communities in these and other restored wetlands in the AOC.

Nearby drainage alterations in 2015 affected water levels in the Pine Station Nature Preserve, significantly altering water levels and durations when wetland soils are inundated (also known as hydroperiods). Hydrologic monitoring is required at the site to determine surface-water and groundwater levels, flow directions and characteristics related to the site water budget. The hydrology of this area is complex as previous workers (see references) have documented that Grand Calumet River water-level fluctuations affect directions of groundwater flow relative to the river and nearby wetland hydroperiods.      

 

Objectives

The primary objective of this project is to quantify the seasonal water budgets of restored wetland cells at the Pine Station and Clark-Pine Nature Preserves to understand how precipitation patterns and groundwater/surface-water interactions affect wetland hydroperiods. This will be accomplished by completing the following sequence of tasks:

  1. Install new wells to develop a survey-referenced network of groundwater-level and surface-water-level reference points in the Pine Station and Clark-Pine Nature Preserves;
  2. Monitor continuous water-level fluctuations using pressure transducers in key locations where water levels are critical for rare native species;
  3. Measure and report groundwater and surface-water levels in the two nature preserves and analyze these data with local weather-station parameters and USGS long-term water-level records in adjacent parts of northwest Indiana;
  4. Collect discrete water-quality samples from wells to determine major elements, trace elements, nutrients and volatile organic compounds;
  5. Interpret processes affecting groundwater/surface-water interactions in and adjacent to the nature preserves, focusing on water-level fluctuations relative to seasonal cycles, precipitation patterns, and surface-water level changes in the adjacent Grand Calumet River.

Additionally, continuous water-quality data (conductance and temperature) and discrete samples will be collected throughout the project area to give a synoptic view of groundwater quality at the restored wetland as well as to provide data to compare with evaluations of adjacent former industrial properties.

 

Relevance and Benefits

This effort will collect data needed to better understand groundwater/surface-water interactions in a restored northern Indiana dune-and-swale wetland setting with threatened plant species that is adjacent to a river (Grand Calumet River) with seiche-affected surface-water levels. This project addresses high-priority issues for the USGS including (1) providing data to quantify changes in water quantity relative to areas with native and restored ecosystems and (2) identifying hydrologic characteristics that relate to transitions between ecosystem states.

Table of Sites and Links to Data

 

Sites installed for this project

Site Number Site Name Site Type Data Type Access Data
413720087233901 USGS WELL C1 AT CLARK AND PINE NP NEAR GARY, IN Monitoring Well Continuous USGS 413720087233901 USGS WELL C1 AT CLARK AND PINE NP NEAR GARY, IN
413726087235201 USGS WELL C2 AT CLARK AND PINE NP NEAR GARY, IN Monitoring Well Discrete USGS 413726087235201 USGS WELL C2 AT CLARK AND PINE NP NEAR GARY, IN
413725087240601 USGS WELL C3 AT CLARK AND PINE NP NEAR GARY, IN Monitoring Well Discrete USGS 413725087240601 USGS WELL C3 AT CLARK AND PINE NP NEAR GARY, IN
413721087235801 USGS WELL C4 AT CLARK AND PINE NP NEAR GARY, IN Monitoring Well Continuous USGS 413721087235801 USGS WELL C4 AT CLARK AND PINE NP NEAR GARY, IN
413718087233701 USGS WELL P1 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN Monitoring Well Discrete USGS 413718087233701 USGS WELL P1 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN
413715087232101 USGS WELL P2 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN Monitoring Well Continuous USGS 413715087232101 USGS WELL P2 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN
413710087230601 USGS WELL P3 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN Monitoring Well Discrete USGS 413710087230601 USGS WELL P3 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN
413703087230501 USGS WELL P4 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN Monitoring Well Discrete USGS 413703087230501 USGS WELL P4 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN
413654087230501 USGS WELL P5 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN Monitoring Well Continuous USGS 413654087230501 USGS WELL P5 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN
413700087233101 USGS WELL P6 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN Monitoring Well Discrete USGS 413700087233101 USGS WELL P6 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN
413653087232201 USGS WELL P7 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN Monitoring Well Continuous USGS 413653087232201 USGS WELL P7 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN
413705087231601 USGS WELL P8 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN Monitoring Well Continuous USGS 413705087231601 USGS WELL P8 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN
413709087231601 USGS WELL P9 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN Monitoring Well Discrete USGS 413709087231601 USGS WELL P9 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN
413650087230601 USGS WELL P10 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN Monitoring Well Discrete USGS 413650087230601 USGS WELL P10 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN
413649087230301 USGS WELL P11 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN Monitoring Well Discrete USGS 413649087230301 USGS WELL P11 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN
413657087231201 USGS WELL P12 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN Monitoring Well Continuous USGS 413657087231201 USGS WELL P12 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN
413643087231301 USGS WELL P13 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN Monitoring Well Discrete USGS 413643087231301 USGS WELL P13 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN
413704087233101 USGS WELL P14 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN Monitoring Well Continuous USGS 413704087233101 USGS WELL P14 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN
413711087233601 USGS WELL P15 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN Monitoring Well Discrete USGS 413711087233601 USGS WELL P15 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN
413644087230601 USGS WELL P16 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN Monitoring Well Continuous USGS 413644087230601 USGS WELL P16 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN
413703087230502 STAFF GAGE S4 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN Staff Gage Discrete USGS 413703087230502 STAFF GAGE S4 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN
413650087230602 STAFF GAGE S10 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN Staff Gage Discrete USGS 413650087230602 STAFF GAGE S10 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN
413645087230701 STAFF GAGE S13 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN Staff Gage Discrete USGS 413645087230701 STAFF GAGE S13 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN
413704087232901 STAFF GAGE S14 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN Staff Gage Discrete USGS 413704087232901 STAFF GAGE S14 AT PINE STATION NP NEAR GARY, IN
413709087231602 PINE STATION NP MET STATION NEAR GARY, IN Meteorological Station Continuous USGS 413709087231602 PINE STATION NP MET STATION NEAR GARY, IN

 

Other sites in the area used for the project

Site Number Site Name Site Type Data Type Access Data
04092677 GRAND CALUMET RIVER AT INDUSTRIAL HWY AT GARY, IN Stream gage Real Time USGS  GRAND CALUMENT RIVER AT INDUSTRIAL HWY AT GARY, IN
413722087225501 USX WELL (B)HWT14-05 AT GARY, IN Monitoring Well Discrete USGS 413722087225501 USX WELL (B)HWT14-05 AT GARY, IN
413734087225101 USX WELL (B)P-11 AT GARY, IN Monitoring Well Discrete USGS 413734087225101 USX WELL (B)P-11 AT GARY, IN
413744087223901 USGS 413744087223901 USX WELL (B)P-4 AT GARY, IN Monitoring Well Discrete USGS 413744087223901 USX WELL (B)P-4 AT GARY, IN

 

References

Boswell, J.S. and Olyphant, G.A., 2007, Modeling the hydrologic response of groundwater dominated wetlands to transient boundary conditions: Implications for wetland restoration. Journal of Hydrology, 332(3-4), pp.467-476.

Fenelon, J.M. and Watson, L.R., 1993, Geohydrology and water quality of the Calumet aquifer, in the vicinity of the Grand Calumet River/Indiana Harbor Canal, Northwestern Indiana: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 92-4115, 151 p.