Title: Groundwater recharge during spring thaw in the Prairie Pothole Region of North America

Authors: Brenton Sharratt

Addresses: USDA Agricultural Research Service, 213 LJ Smith Hall, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, 99164, USA

Abstract: Snowmelt governs recharge in the Prairie Pothole Region of North America, but little is known about the soil at the time of recharge. Depth of snow, surface water, water table, and frozen soil were measured within a 2-ha landscape depression in Minnesota during spring thaw in 2000 and 2001. The water table rose by at least 1 m within 24 h after a pond formed within the landscape depression as a result of snowmelt. Recharge of groundwater is a seemingly localised process where surface water infiltrates via unfrozen conduits or soil matrix beneath an ephemeral pond within a prairie pothole.

Keywords: depression focused recharge; frozen soil; infiltration; macropores; snowmelt; water table; groundwater recharge; spring thaw; Prairie Pothole Region; North America; surface water; snow depth.

DOI: 10.1504/IJW.2009.028720

International Journal of Water, 2009 Vol.5 No.2, pp.100 - 108

Available online: 25 Sep 2009 *

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