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Simulation of the shallow groundwater-flow system near the Hayward Airport, Sawyer County, Wisconsin

August 4, 2010

There are concerns that removal and trimming of vegetation during expansion of the Hayward Airport in Sawyer County, Wisconsin, could appreciably change the character of a nearby cold-water stream and its adjacent environs. In cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, a two-dimensional, steady-state groundwater-flow model of the shallow groundwater-flow system near the Hayward Airport was refined from a regional model of the area. The parameter-estimation code PEST was used to obtain a best fit of the model to additional field data collected in February 2007 as part of this study. The additional data were collected during an extended period of low runoff and consisted of water levels and streamflows near the Hayward Airport. Refinements to the regional model included one additional hydraulic-conductivity zone for the airport area, and three additional parameters for streambed resistance in a northern tributary to the Namekagon River and in the main stem of the Namekagon River. In the refined Hayward Airport area model, the calibrated hydraulic conductivity was 11.2 feet per day, which is within the 58.2 to 7.9 feet per day range reported for the regional glacial and sandstone aquifer, and is consistent with a silty soil texture for the area. The calibrated refined model had a best fit of 8.6 days for the streambed resistance of the Namekagon River and between 0.6 and 1.6 days for the northern tributary stream. The previously reported regional groundwater-recharge rate of 10.1 inches per year was adjusted during calibration of the refined model in order to match streamflows measured during the period of extended low runoff; this resulted in an optimal groundwater-recharge rate of 7.1 inches per year during this period. The refined model was then used to simulate the capture zone of the northern tributary to the Namekagon River.

Publication Year 2010
Title Simulation of the shallow groundwater-flow system near the Hayward Airport, Sawyer County, Wisconsin
DOI 10.3133/sir20105049
Authors Randall J. Hunt, Paul F. Juckem, Charles P. Dunning
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Report
Series Number 2010-5049
Index ID sir20105049
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Wisconsin Water Science Center