US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Published in Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 1859-D (1968) 43 pages.


The partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PCO2), the degree of saturation with respect to calcite (IAP/Kcalcite), the pH, and the concentrations of selected constituents in solution were determined for water from 52 wells and the Platte River. Compared to the PCO2 in the atmosphere, the average PCO2 in the ground water was many times greater and that in the river water was about twice as great. The high PCO2 in the ground water probably results from the absorption, by infiltrating precipitation, of carbon dioxide produced in the soil by respiration of plant roots and microorganisms. The values for IAP/Kcalcite for the ground water ranged from 0.141 to 1.29 and for the river water the average was 9.6. Water from each of the 10 sampled wells on the terrace plain in southeastern Saunders County was unsaturated with respect to calcite, whereas water from seven of the 42 wells on the Platte River flood plain was nearly saturated or supersaturated. Of the seven, two were in the Lincoln city well field where hydrologic relations indicate that a large fraction of the water yielded by the wells is induced seepage from the river. That more of the city wells did not yield supersaturated water is surprising in view of the high IAP/Kcalcite values for the river water. Supersaturation of water from five of nine sampled wells downvalley from the well field probably is due to the presence of numerous limestone fragments in the Quaternary deposits in that part of the area. Also surprising was the finding that the average pH of the water from the city wells was 1 unit lower than that of the river water. The presence of both dissolved iron and dissolved oxygen in the water from several of the city wells probably reflects derivation of the water from two distinct sources: ground water naturally in the aquifer and induced seepage from the river.