Hydrology – 15 SEEPAGE LOSS – DESTINATION OF SEEPAGE OUTFLOW

Hydrology of Crater, East and Davis Lakes, Oregon by Kenneth N. Phillips
 CRATER LAKE

 

WATER LOSS FROM THE LAKE

SEEPAGE LOSS

DESTINATION OF SEEPAGE OUTFLOW

The points where the waters of Crater Lake are lost and where they reappear are unknown. Large springs emerge at levels lower than the lake in the basins of the Rogue and Umpqua Rivers and in the tributaries of the Klamath River (Annie Creek, Wood River, and Williamson River). The total flow of these springs is many times the amount of water lost by seepage from the lake; in fact, those at the head of the Wood River, those on Spring Creek near Chiloquin, and those at the head of the North Umpqua River each yield about three times as much as the lake loses by seepage. Most of the springs have very steady flow; all are cold and clear, and the streams they feed are low in dissolved-solids content, as is the lake water.

The potential hydraulic gradient between the lake and a series of large springs in the region is steep. The difference in altitude between the level of Crater Lake and springs at the head of the Wood River is about 2,000 feet in 13 miles, and to those at the head’ of Spring Creek, about 2,000 feet in 20 miles. However, each of those springs generally discharges from two to four times as much as the calculated seepage loss from Crater Lake; Annie Springs, 3 miles south of the lake, and Boundary Springs, 9 miles northwest of the lake, are smaller and emerge at somewhat higher levels than the springs mentioned earlier. There is no direct evidence of hydraulic connection between the lake and any of the springs named.

The writer can only agree with Van Winkle (1914, p. 42) that some of the seepage from the lake may find its way into the Rogue River, but more probably it mingles with the underground waters that feed some of the springs in Klamath River basin.

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