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TitleConceptual, geological and numerical groundwater flow models of the Spiritwood Buried Valley Aquifer in southwest Manitoba
AuthorHinton, M J; Logan, C E; Calderhead, A I; Oldenborger, G A; Sharpe, D R; Russell, H A J; Pugin, A J -M
SourceGeological Society of America, Abstracts With Programs vol. 45, no. 7, 2013 p. 697
Year2013
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20130191
PublisherThe Geological Society of America (GSA)
MeetingThe Geological Society of America, 125th Anniversary Annual Meeting; Denver; US; October 27-30, 2013
Documentserial
Lang.English
Mediapaper
File formathtml
ProvinceManitoba
NTS62
AreaSpiritwood buried valley aquifer; Canada; United States
Lat/Long WENS-102.0000 -100.0000 50.0000 48.0000
Subjectshydrogeology; groundwater; groundwater circulation; groundwater flow; groundwater regimes; aquifers; models; buried valleys
ProgramAquifer Assessment & support to mapping, Groundwater Geoscience
LinksOnline - En ligne
AbstractThe Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) has been studying the regional geology and hydrogeology of the Spiritwood buried valley aquifer in southwest Manitoba. The buried valley extends from Manitoba into and across North Dakota where it contributes large volumes of groundwater. In this region, there is limited access to moderate and high yield sources of groundwater from shale bedrock or inter-till aquifers. In contrast, buried valley aquifers offer the potential for larger water supplies provided there is adequate recharge.
In addition to using traditional characterization and mapping techniques (e.g., water well records and monitoring wells), the GSC has also been developing innovative approaches, such as seismic reflection and airborne time domain electromagnetic (TEM) surveys, to delineate the Spiritwood buried valley aquifer system. Results indicate that the Spiritwood buried valley in Manitoba is not a single valley feature. Instead, three different valley types were identified, each of differing dimensions, form, extent and depth, yet all are at least partially incised into bedrock. The conceptualization of the Spiritwood buried valley as a complex interconnected network of buried valleys has significant implications for the interpretation of groundwater flow.
A 3D numerical geological model of the regional flow system was developed, using Leapfrog HydroTM geological modelling software. It was based on water well records, borehole coring, a digital elevation model and surficial geological maps. Within the TEM survey area (1000 km2), inverted conductivity results and seismic profiles provided higher spatial resolution geophysical data compared to sparse borehole records alone. These data were particularly important for delineating the extent of the shallowest buried valleys that may provide hydraulic connection to deeper buried aquifers. Guided by the conceptual and digital 3D geological models and supported with results from a baseflow survey, a 3D finite element groundwater flow model is being developed to assess groundwater flow patterns and fluxes. The innovation of collecting and integrating high resolution datasets into conceptual and numerical model development will refine mapping and assessment of buried valley aquifers
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
In southwest Manitoba, buried valleys can provide significant groundwater, if there is adequate replenishment for sustained use. The Geological Survey of Canada has been using innovative ground and airborne surveys that allow detailed identification of the buried valley and its internal structures. These enable a better conceptual understanding of its geology and groundwater flow. Results show that the Spiritwood buried valley in Manitoba is not a single valley feature, but instead, a complex interconnected network of buried valleys. This finding has significant implications for the interpretation of groundwater flow and resources. Guided by conceptual and geological models with supporting data, a groundwater flow model is being developed to assess groundwater flow patterns. The innovation of acquiring and integrating novel detailed datasets will refine mapping and assessment of groundwater in buried valley systems to make modeling more useful for practical groundwater management.
GEOSCAN ID292927