Water resources in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota, support wildlife, visitors, and staff, and play a vital role in supporting the native ecology of the park. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the National Park Service, completed field work in 2018 for a study to address concerns about water availability and possible sources of groundwater contamination for seeps and springs in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The objective of the study was to improve hydrologic knowledge and determine the water composition of 11 seeps and springs in the park by collecting water-chemistry data at springs, streams, wells, and rain collectors.
Water samples were collected at 26 sites at springs, streams, wells, and rain collectors in the North and South Units of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Samples in the North Unit were collected at 5 springs, 1 stream, 2 wells, and 1 rain collector. Samples in the South Unit were collected at 6 springs, 2 streams, 8 wells, and 1 rain collector. Samples from springs, streams, and wells were collected in May, July, and September 2018. Samples from rain collectors were collected when enough daily precipitation accumulated in the collectors. Sampled precipitation events during the study period were in May, June, July, August, and September 2018. Physical properties of sampled water—temperature, pH, and specific conductance—were measured in the field. Water samples were analyzed for stable isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen and for chloride concentration. Recharge rates for aquifers supplying springs were determined using precipitation volume and chloride concentrations for a 12-day period before the sample-collection date. Multivariate statistical analysis methods used on water-chemistry data included principal component analysis, cluster analysis, and end-member mixing analysis.
Water composition was used to determine the spring type and contributing aquifers for 11 springs in the North and South Units of Theodore Roosevelt National Park from analyses of water-chemistry data between May and September 2018. In the North Unit, Achenbach Spring was classified as a filtration spring with water from an unconfined part of the upper Fort Union aquifer and infiltration of precipitation. Hagen Spring, Mandal Spring, and Stevens Spring were classified as contact springs supplied by semiconfined parts of the upper Fort Union aquifer. Overlook Spring at one time may have been a natural spring or seep but now is a developed spring that behaves like a flowing artesian well completed in a confined part of the upper Fort Union aquifer. In the South Unit, six springs were classified into two spring types: filtration and contact springs. Boicourt Spring and Sheep Butte Spring were classified as filtration springs that have water supplied by unconfined parts of the upper Fort Union aquifer and infiltrated precipitation. Big Plateau Spring, Lone Tree Spring, Sheep Pasture Spring, and Southeast Corner Spring were classified as contact springs that receive waters from a semiconfined part of the upper Fort Union aquifer.
|Title||Spring types and contributing aquifers from water-chemistry and multivariate statistical analyses for seeps and springs in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota, 2018|
|Authors||Colton J. Medler, William G. Eldridge|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Scientific Investigations Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Dakota Water Science Center|