Using temperature and flow profiling to evaluate groundwater interaction with surface water in Maine

Groundwater may be an underutilized resource for irrigation that could benefit the production of crops in Aroostook County. Increasing use of groundwater resources, however, may impact surface-water systems by decreasing base flow that sustains low flow conditions and by altering flow patterns that organisms, such as brook trout, rely on during parts of their life cycle. With careful planning, use of groundwater for irrigation, drinking water, and ecological services can be balanced. This planning will require a detailed understanding of the hydraulic properties and the interconnection between groundwater and surface-water systems. The interaction between groundwater and surface water is of special interest to the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians (HBMI), who have a strong interest in enhancing the fisheries habitat in the Meduxnekeag River. To address both the potential for groundwater extraction and its impact on stream habitat: (1) testing will be completed on boreholes to quantify the transmissive and storage properties of the bedrock aquifer in southern Aroostook County, (2) the spatial distribution of groundwater influx within a segment of the Meduxnekeag River and two of its tributaries will be measured, and 3) the impact of pumping from the bedrock aquifer on groundwater seepage into the Meduxnekeag River will be monitored. This data will be collected with, and provided to, the HBMI to assist in ongoing river restoration efforts.

Investigator: Reeve, A.

Unit: School of Earth and Climate Sciences

Termination Date: 30-Sep-16