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Kansas Geological Survey, Open-File Rept. 91-1
Annual Report, FY 90--Page 8 of 9

Relationship of the FY90 Dakota Aquifer Program to Future Research Directions

During FY90-93 the overall objective of the Dakota aquifer program is to characterize subregionally the water-resources potential of the areas where the Dakota aquifer is shallowest and is undergoing development in central and southwestern Kansas (Figure 2). In FY90 the Kansas Geological Survey and the U.S. Geological Survey collected new detailed geologic, hydrologic, and water-quality information that previously has been nonexistent or has been needed to update existing data bases in order to characterize ground-water flow patterns and water chemistry was collected and is being analyzed. This work was summarized earlier in FY90 Activities and Results section of this report.

In FY91 and early FY92, the Kansas Geological Survey in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey is installing five monitoring sites within the Dakota aquifer and conducting hydrologic tests in order to gain insight into the relationship of the Dakota aquifer with the overlying High Plains and underlying saltwater-bearing aquifers.

The goal of the geologic framework part of the Dakota aquifer program is the definition of (1) aquifer units which allow the movement of ground water and are the primary sources for wells, and (2) aquitards or aquicludes which impede the movement of ground water. The classification of the Dakota aquifer framework into aquifer (the sandstones) and non-aquifer units (the mudstones) is useful for developing an understanding of regional ground-water flow patterns. The ground-water flow pattern is an important constraint on the quantity and quality of ground water available to wells. Details concerning the past geologic processes that produced the arrangement of these units in the Dakota aquifer is important since major ancient fluvial and deltaic systems controlled the deposition of sandstones, the principle water-producing porous media in the Dakota aquifer. Information on the location of stream valleys and delta systems at the time of deposition (paleogeography) is a key element in the prediction of sandstone body trend and distribution. Hydraulic continuity of the more permeable aquifer units can be inferred from the sandstone body trends and distribution. In FY91 the expanded geologic data base for southwestern and south-central Kansas is being used to determine sandstone body trend and distribution using the known sequence of sea-level fluctuations at the time these aquifer units were being deposited.

In the ground-water geochemistry part of the program, work will continue to (1) add more information to the ground-water geochemistry data base from sampling the installed monitoring sites and other water wells screened in the Dakota aquifer, (2) continue work on evaluating the factors that control salinity and the concentrations of major, minor, and trace constituents in ground water, and (3) continue work on the assessment of ground-water for various uses on the basis of quality. Under 3, the marked difference between previous and current arsenic data is being verified.

In FY91 an effort will also be made to translate the geologic and hydrologic data bases of the Dakota aquifer program into INFO format so that they can be input into the geographic information system for display and dissemination to other state agencies. In addition, interfaces with the data bases managed by other state agencies and the U.S. Geological Survey will be developed in order to facilitate the transfer of data to potential users.

In FY92-93, the results of the sub-area investigations will be combined and used to characterize the Dakota aquifer in central and southwestern Kansas. The results of this integration will be used to develop three-dimensional computer simulations of the aquifer that eventually can be used to assess various water-management scenarios. Development of the models will be greatly facilitated by the geologic, geohydrologic, and ground-water geochemistry data bases that were developed earlier in the program. A steady-state, three-dimensional simulation model of the Dakota aquifer should be completed by the end of FY92. Development of the mass-transport transient model should be completed by the end of FY93. Transient simulation of the Dakota aquifer flow system and mass transport will be used to generate various options that can be implemented to manage the water resources available in this already-developed region of the aquifer. Work on simulating the various management options will begin and should be completed in FY94.

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Kansas Geological Survey, Dakota Aquifer Program
Original report available from the Kansas Geological Survey.
Electronic version placed online Nov. 1998
Scientific comments to P. Allen Macfarlane
Web comments to webadmin@kgs.ku.edu