Index Well Program
(High Plains Aquifer Calibration Monitoring Well Program)
The index well program is a pilot study of an improved approach to measuring hydrologic responses at the local level. The program is expected to make a significant contribution to understanding the aquifer dynamics at scales appropriate to the definition and management of aquifer subunits, and ultimately, providing cost-effective improvements for long-term management. A subsidiary goal is to directly examine issues and areas of particular interest to the GMDs and the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Division of Water Resources (KDA-DWR).
Information is also available on the Survey's Barometric Response Function Software, which computes a function describing the influence of barometric (atmospheric) pressure variations on water levels in wells and uses that function to filter atmospherically induced fluctuations from observed water levels. The software can also compute earth tide response functions and correct water levels for the influence of earth tides.
Three index wells have been installed in the Ogallala-High Plains aquifer, one in each of the three western Kansas GMDs, and are being continuously monitored. The sites are located in Haskell (GMD3), Scott (GMD1), and Thomas (GMD4) counties (see red dots on map below). In 2012 the KGS installed continuous data loggers in four wells along the Kansas-Oklahoma border. These sites are located near Cimarron, Hugoton, Liberal, and Rolla (see green squares on map below). Two of these sites, Liberal and Hugoton have two wells each which in addition to being continuously monitored are also on near real-time telemetry like the original three index wells. In 2014 two additional wells (green squares) were added to the index well network, Belpre in GMD5 and Colby located at the KSU-NWREC facility in GMD4. These wells are continuously monitored and should be on telemetry systems sometime in 2015.
Results of the continuous monitoring are shown as hydrographs for each of the sites. The Haskell County hydrograph shows drawdowns greater than 120 ft during the pumping season. The Haskell County well is screened in a (semi-)confined zone at the base of the aquifer. In contrast to the Haskell County hydrograph, the hydrographs for the Scott County and the Thomas County wells show drawdows of on the order of 5 ft. These wells are screened in essentially unconfined portions of the aquifer.
- KGS OFR 2015-3: 2013 Annual Report, May 2015 (available online)
- KGS OFR 2014-1: 2013 Annual Report, May 2014 (available online)
- KGS OFR 2013-1: 2012 Annual Report, March 2013 (available online)
- KGS OFR 2012-2: Year 5 Progress Report, March 2012 (available online)
- KGS OFR 2011-4: Year 4 Progress Report, March 2011 (available online)
- KGS OFR 2010-3: Year 3 Progress Report, March 2010 (available online)
- KGS OFR 2008-29: Year 2 Progress Report, December 2008 (available online)
- KGS OFR 2007-30: Year 1 Progress Report on Well Installation and Aquifer Response (available online)