A potentiometric surface map for spring 2016 was created for the Mississippi River Valley alluvial (MRVA) aquifer using selected available groundwater-altitude data from wells and surface-water-altitude data from streamgages. Most of the wells were measured annually or one time after installation, but some wells were measured more than one time or continually; streamgages are typically operated continuously. Personnel from the 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, Yazoo Mississippi Delta Joint Water Management District, U.S. Department of Agriculture–Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) routinely collect groundwater 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 discharge for the rivers overlying the MRVA aquifer.
The potentiometric surface map for 2016 was created using existing data as part of the USGS Water Availability and Use Science Program to support investigations that characterize the MRVA aquifer. Sufficient groundwater-altitude data were available to create a potentiometric-surface map for spring 2016 for about 81 percent of the aquifer area. The potentiometric contours ranged from 10 to 340 feet. The regional direction of groundwater flow in the MRVA aquifer was generally towards the south-southwest, except in areas of groundwater-altitude depressions, where groundwater flows into the depressions, and near rivers, where groundwater flow generally parallels the flow in the rivers. There are large depressions in the potentiometric surface of the MRVA aquifer in the lower half of the Cache region and in most of the Grand Prairie and Delta regions.