Hydrologic Contributions from Springs on the Logan River, Utah


Project Title: Hydrologic Contributions from Springs on the Logan River, Utah

Project Duration: 1-Apr-2004 - 30-Jun-2005
Principal Investigators:
site mapMichael Gooseff (Penn State Unviersity)
Jim Evans (Geology, USU)
Peter Kolesar (Geology, USU)
Tom Lachmar (Geology, USU)

Overview: The Bear River Range is the primary recharge area for the Bear Lake and Cache Valleys, two important sub-basins. The range exhibits snowmelt-dominated flow in the shallow soil or regolith zone, and deep bedrock groundwater flow, controlled by karst and fracture/fault zones. Carbonate rocks (limestone and dolostone) are abundant in the Bear River Range, and these rocks weather by dissolution, producing many sinkholes, caves and springs. As a result, much of the water in streams entering Bear Lake and Cache Valleys originates as springs in the Bear River Range. However, little is known about the flow paths, chemical evolution, and partitioning of the amounts of each component of flow in the system. Further, the locations of the recharge areas for these springs are largely unknown.

Objectives: We propose a pilot study that will consist of a time-series of isotopic and water chemistry analyses of the Logan River above Third Dam, and at two of the largest springs that flow into the river. These springs are associated with faults and fracture zones, and likely collect water from a large portion of the range. These data will be used to try to deduce the proportion of hydrologic contribution for the springs and the chemical evolution of the ground water as it flows from these recharge areas to the springs. We will use these results as a springboard for further work to determine the rates and fluxes of water in the different parts of the system. Such data and analyses will be critical for making management decisions regarding the watershed, and will contribute to determining how climate changes might affect this portion of the Bear River watershed.

Research Site:
We will be sampling the Logan River upstream and downstream of 2 major springs, as well as the 2 springs, DeWitt's Spring and Spring Hollow in western Logan Canyon, UT.


Field Activities 2004
DeWitt spring outflow
DeWitt Spring outflow channel. Collection basin in background.
DeWitt spring collection
DeWitt Spring collection basinis surrounded by chainlink fence and collection basin is covered by concrete.
Logan R. above Logan DN
Logan River above Logan UP site, looking up Logan Canyon.
spring hollow stream
Spring Hollow stream, about half way to the Logan River.
logan river
We have been sampling these 4 sites since April, 2004. B. Shakespeare and J. Heath sampling Logan River DN site.
spring hollow stream
Spring Hollow water feeds into the Logan River at the accumulated sediment across the river, just upstream of the Logan River DN sampling site.
logan river, looking downstream
Logan River, just below the bridge at which we sample. Looking down toward 3rd Dam.
Pete and Rob
Pete and Rob supervise the sample processing...
sampling spring
B. Shakespeare, R. Payn, and J. Heath sampling Spring Hollow and making measurements of pH, conductivity and water temperature.
Jason sampling
J. Heath processing samples from Logan River DN.

Related Links:

USGS Logan River Stream Gauge page
USU Climate Center web page
USFS Wasatch-Cache NF web page

Nearby NRCS SNOTEL stations:
- Tony Grove Lake
- Temple Fork

Graduate Students:
Rob Payn, Ph.D student at USU (current)
Brooke Shakespeare, MS student at USU (current)
Jason Heath former USU MS student (currently at NM Tech)

Conference Presentations:
Gooseff, MN, J Evans, P Kolesar, T Lachmar, and RA Payn. 2005. Hydrologic Contributions of Springs to the Logan River, Utah. American Geophysical Union Spring Meeting, New Orleans, LA. [poster]

Kolesar, PT, JP Evans, MN Gooseff, TE Lachmar, and R Payn. 2005. A tale of two (or more) karsts, Bear River Range, Cache National Forest, Utah. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT.

Current weather in Logan, UT:
Click for Logan, Utah Forecast
If this is blank, the weather station is not responding.

This project is funded through the Utah State University Water Initiative Seed Grant Competition, 2004.


This page was created on 18-Oct-2004.
This page was last updated on 25-Jan-2009.

Questions? mgooseff@engr.psu.edu