Little Plover River Groundwater Model

The Little Plover River, a class 1 trout stream, winding its way through the woods. The river is narrow and shallow here, and its banks are heavily lined with trees, underbrush, and other vegetation.
The Little Plover River

In Wisconsin’s Central Sands, stretches of the Little Plover River have gone dry in past years. Some people have blamed high-capacity wells, while others cite changing land use, climate change, or natural weather patterns.

To evaluate the effects of different stresses on the Little Plover River, WGNHS and the U.S. Geological Survey developed a groundwater flow model. This state-of-the-art tool demonstrates the scientific relationships between groundwater, lakes and streams, and high-capacity wells. The model allows users to test different ways of managing groundwater in the Central Sands.

(Project commissioned by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.)

Download files

Want to explore the model? Access its files below.

Cover page of the Groundwater Flow Model report showing a photo of the Little Plover River (B111). Image links to the report.
Download report
Cover page of the Groundwater Flow Model user's manual showing a photo of the Little Plover River (B111-suppl)
Download user’s manual
Three-dimensional illustration of the Little Plover River model. Shows land surface, the aquifers, and movement of water through the system.
Download model files (5.5 GB)


User’s manual

Model files (5.5 GB)



On April 12, 2016, Ken Bradbury of WGNHS and Mike Fienen of the U.S. Geological Survey presented the results of a multi-year project developing a groundwater model for the Little Plover River basin. View the full video below.

More information

Project summary ( Background information

Metadata (USGS): MODFLOW-NWT groundwater flow model and GWM-VI optimization code for the Little Plover River basin in Wisconsin’s Central Sands

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