Each year, the Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute facilitates the U.S. Geological Survey's 104b program and works with state, regional, and national partners to fund projects that advance water science and address critical needs.
The shallow aquifer along the lower Mississippi River is one of the three most over-drafted aquifers in the nation, with a steadily declining water table. Several approaches are being considered to enhance aquifer recharge, including impounding winter rains in oxbow lakes. To move forward, a greater understanding is needed of the types of sedimentary deposits that lead to the most effective infiltration, and the ecological impact of changing water levels in the associated wetlands.
The work is being carried out at Sky Lake, an oxbow lake-wetland in Mississippi. The investigation includes sediment cores and geophysical measurements to determine what types of subsurface features are most conducive for recharge and to assist with the selection of new lakes for study. The ecological impact of flooding will focus on bald cypress. Tree cores will allow the assessment of the width of annual growth as a function of water depth over the last 20 years.