US Geological Survey



Date of this Version



Published by U.S. Department of the Interior/ U.S. Geological Survey.

Iowa Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5130


The Cedar River alluvial aquifer is the primary source of municipal water in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, area. Since 1992, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the City of Cedar Rapids, has investigated the hydrogeology and water quality of the Cedar River alluvial aquifer. This report describes a detailed analysis of the ground-water flow system in the alluvial aquifer, particularly near well field areas.

The ground-water flow system in the Cedar Rapids area consists of two main components, the unconsolidated Quaternary deposits and the underlying carbonate bedrock that has a variable fracture density. Quaternary deposits consist of eolian sand, loess, alluvium, and glacial till. Devonian and Silurian bedrock aquifers overlie the Maquoketa Shale (Formation) of Ordovician age, a regional confining unit.

Ground-water and surface-water data were collected during the study to better define the hydrogeology of the Cedar River alluvial aquifer and Devonian and Silurian aquifers. Stream stage and discharge, ground-water levels, and estimates of aquifer hydraulic properties were used to develop a conceptual ground-water flow model and to construct and calibrate a model of the flow system. This model was used to quantify the movement of water between the various components of the alluvial aquifer flow system and provide an improved understanding of the hydrology of the alluvial aquifer.