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Dakota Aquifer Program--Water Quality

Water Quality Effects in Surface Water

Regional flow discharges from the confined Dakota aquifer and underlying Cedar Hills Sandstone aquifers in the river valleys of central where they cross the outcrop of the Dakota Formation in north-central Kansas. The discharge areas for the smaller, but vertically-extensive local flow systems also coincide with these regional discharge areas. As a result the deeper more saline ground waters are discharged back to surface because of the combined effects of these flow systems. Salt marshes associated with saltwater discharge to surface water are common features in the Saline, Solomon, and Republican river valleys (Figure 7). During low flow periods when baseflow constitutes the bulk of stream discharge, the chloride concentration of surface waters escalates rapidly (Figure 8). Elsewhere, freshwater is discharged from the upper Dakota to the Arkansas, Pawnee, and Wet Walnut drainages.

Figure 7. Location of salt marshes in Central Kansas. Many of these features are associated with discharge from the Dakota aquifer.


Figure 8. Discharge vs. chloride concentration for the Saline River north of Russell, Kansas.


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Kansas Geological Survey, Dakota Aquifer Program
Updated July 5, 1996.
Scientific comments to P. Allen Macfarlane
Web comments to webadmin@kgs.ku.edu
The URL for this page is HTTP://www.kgs.ku.edu/Dakota/vol1/water/water05.htm