Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Simulation of groundwater flow at the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant, Sauk County, Wisconsin

May 4, 2023

To help support remedial efforts at the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant the U.S. Geological Survey built and calibrated a transient groundwater flow model using the Newton Raphson formulation (MODFLOW–NWT) of the U.S. Geological Survey’s modular three-dimensional finite-difference code. The model simulates the groundwater flow system at the site from 1984 to 2020. The former Badger Army Ammunition Plant is a 7,275-acre site in Sauk County, Wisconsin. The plant produced smokeless gunpower and solid rocket propellent as munitions components. Peak production periods were during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Subsequent groundwater contamination investigations have found four plumes at the site. A health risk assessment identified at least one contaminant of concern for human health risk present in three of the plumes: the propellant burning ground plume, the deterrent burning ground plume, and the central plume. A cooperative study began between the U.S. Army Environmental Command and U.S. Geological Survey to better understand the groundwater flow system at the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant. Field data, including aquifer tests, streamflow measurements, continuous groundwater elevations, and groundwater gradients with the Wisconsin River were collected and used to inform and calibrate the groundwater flow model. The model was used to assess the variability of the groundwater system over the study period, the components of the groundwater budget, and groundwater flow directions from identified source areas towards the Wisconsin River. Model performance assessment focused on using particle tracking to compare groundwater flowpaths that originate in the contaminant source areas to the observed plume footprints. This focus on plume behavior geometry should help constrain the advective component of a future groundwater transport model of the site.

Publication Year 2023
Title Simulation of groundwater flow at the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant, Sauk County, Wisconsin
DOI 10.3133/sir20235040
Authors Megan J. Haserodt, Howard W. Reeves, Martha G. Nielsen, Laura A. Schachter, Nicholas T. Corson-Dosch, Daniel T. Feinstein
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Report
Series Number 2023-5040
Index ID sir20235040
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Upper Midwest Water Science Center