Earth Sciences Report 1982-02

Earth Sciences Report 1982-02

ESR 1982-02

Groundwater hydrology of the Pine Lake Research Basin, Alberta

Author(s) Garven, G. Date 1982-01-01

The Pine Lake research basin is a 230 square km (90 sq. mi.) parkland in south-central Alberta. Various types of geologic, geophysical, and hydrologic data were used to evaluate the hydrogeology of the research basin.

Permeable sandstone, mudstone, and coals of the thick Paskapoo Formation underlie the study area. The major, shallow sandstone aquifers have hydraulic conductivities between 0.5 to 2.5 m/day (10 to 50 igpd/sq. ft). A thin mantle of glacial drift characterizes the surficial geology.

The water-table configuration is a subdued replica of the topography. Groundwater flows from broad recharge areas on the main divides to discharge areas in the valley bottom. Sodium-bicarbonate groundwater, which dominates the basin, evolved primarily through carbonate dissolution and cation exchange processes. Correlation between hydrochemical facies and groundwater flow patterns is poor. The groundwater regime in the research basin is most appropriately treated as a steady state, regionally unconfined system in a heterogeneous and anisotropic rock medium . Natural basin yield was calculated from a finite-element simulation as 55 cubic meters/day/m (4000 igpd/ft).This analysis is designed as a framework for instrumentation and a guide for future hydrologic studies in the Pine Lake area. Recommendations for instrumentation and future studies include installation of a piezometer network, further aquifer testing and numerical modeling of saturated-unsaturated groundwater flow and hydrochemistry.

Garven, G. (1982): Groundwater hydrology of the Pine Lake research basin, Alberta; Alberta Research Council, ARC/AGS Earth Sciences Report 1982-02, 187 p.