Groundwater resources information was needed to understand regional aquifer systems and water available to wells and springs for rearing important Lake Michigan fish species at the Kettle Moraine Springs State Fish Hatchery in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin. As a basis for estimating the groundwater resources available, an existing groundwater-flow model was refined, and new groundwater-flow models were developed for the Kettle Moraine Springs State Fish Hatchery area using the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) finite-difference code MODFLOW. This report describes the origin and construction of these groundwater-flow models and their use in testing conceptual models and simulating the hydrogeologic system.
The study area is in the Eastern Ridges and Lowlands geographical province of Wisconsin, and the hatchery property is situated on the southeastern edge of the Kettle Moraine, a north-south trending topographic high of glacial origin. The bedrock units underlying the study area consist of Cambrian, Ordovician, and Silurian units of carbonate and siliciclastic lithology. In the Sheboygan County area, the sedimentary bedrock sequence reaches a thickness of as much as about 1,600 feet (ft).
Two aquifer systems are present at the Kettle Moraine Springs State Fish Hatchery. A shallow system is made up of Silurian bedrock, consisting chiefly of dolomite, overlain by unconsolidated Quaternary-age glacial deposits. The glacial deposits of this aquifer system are the typical source of water to local springs, including the springs that have historically supplied the hatchery. The shallow aquifer system, therefore, consists of the unconsolidated glacial aquifer and the underlying bedrock Silurian aquifer. Most residential wells in the area draw from the Silurian aquifer. A deeper confined aquifer system is made up of Cambrian- and Ordovician-age bedrock units including sandstone formations. Because of its depth, very few wells are completed in the Cambrian-Ordovician aquifer system (COAS) near the Kettle Moraine Springs State Fish Hatchery.
Three groundwater-flow models were used to estimate the water resources available to the hatchery from bedrock aquifers under selected scenarios of well placement and seasonal water requirements and subject to constraints on the effects of pumping on neighboring wells, local springs, and creeks. Model input data (recharge, water withdrawal, and boundary conditions) for these models were compiled from a number of data and information sources.
The first model, named the “KMS model,” (KMS stands for Kettle Moraine Springs) is an inset model derived from a published USGS regional Lake Michigan Basin model and was constructed to simulate groundwater pumping from the semiconfined Silurian aquifer. The second model, named the “Pumping Test model,” was constructed to evaluate an aquifer pumping test conducted in the COAS as part of this project. The Pumping Test model was also used to simulate the local effects of 20 years of groundwater pumping from this deep bedrock aquifer for future hatchery operations. The third model, named the “LMB modified model,” is a version of the published Lake Michigan Basin (LMB) model that was modified with aquifer parameters refined in an area around the hatchery (approximately a 5-mile radius circle, corresponding to the area stressed by the aquifer pumping test). This LMB modified model was applied to evaluate regional effects of pumping from the confined COAS.
The available Silurian aquifer groundwater resource was estimated using the KMS model with three scenarios—named “AllConstraints,” “Constraints2,” and “Constraints3”—that specified local water-level and flow constraints such as drawdown at nearby household wells, water levels inside pumping well boreholes, and flow in local streams and springs. Each scenario utilized the MODFLOW Groundwater Management Process (GWM) to select three locations from six candidate locations that provided the greatest combined flow while satisfying the constraints. The three constraint scenarios provided estimates of 430 gallons per minute (gal/min), 480 gal/min, and 520 gal/min pumping from three wells—AllConstraints, Constraints2, and Constraints3, respectively. The same three wells were selected for the scenarios that estimated 480 gal/min and 520 gal/min; the scenario that estimated 430 gal/min shared two of these same wells, but the third selected well was different.
The available COAS groundwater resource was estimated by two scenarios with each conducted over a period of 20 years with the Pumping Test model and the LMB modified model. The Pumping Test model was used to simulate local effects of pumping, and the LMB modified model was used to simulate regional effects of pumping. The scenarios simulate a range of total and seasonal pumping rates potentially linked to site activities. Scenario 1 simulates two wells completed in the Cambrian-Ordovician aquifer system, each pumping for 8 months at 300 gal/min, followed by pumping for 4 months at 600 gal/min. The average yearly pumping rate of Scenario 1 is 800 gal/min. Scenario 2 simulates three wells completed in the Cambrian-Ordovician aquifer system pumping for 8 months at 200 gal/min, followed by pumping for 4 months at 500 gal/min. The average yearly pumping rate of Scenario 2 is 900 gal/min. The Pumping Test model simulations confirmed that drawdown in the boreholes of the pumping wells at the selected 2-well or 3-well rates will meet the desired condition that the pumping water level remains at least 100 ft above the highest Cambrian-Ordovician unit open to the well.
The LMB modified model was used to evaluate the regional drawdown of the pumping from the confined COAS under the same 2-well and 3-well scenarios. At the nearest known existing COAS well, Campbellsport production well #4, the simulated drawdown for Scenario 1 after 20 years of cyclical pumping with two pumping wells averaging a total of 800 gal/min is 16.9 ft, whereas the simulated drawdown for Scenario 2 after 20 years of pumping with three pumping wells averaging a total of 900 gal/min is 19.0 ft. The total deep aquifer thickness at the Campbellsport location is on the order of 620 ft, meaning that the simulated drawdown for either scenario is about 3 percent of the confined aquifer thickness.
The models developed as part of this project are archived in the project data release. The archive includes the model input and output files as well as MODFLOW source code and executables. (Haserodt and others, 2017).
|Title||Estimation of the groundwater resources of the bedrock aquifers at the Kettle Moraine Springs State Fish Hatchery, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin|
|Authors||Charles Dunning, Daniel T. Feinstein, Cheryl A. Buchwald, Randall J. Hunt, Megan J. Haserodt|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Scientific Investigations Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Wisconsin Water Science Center|