Arboretum Big Spring


The Arboretum “Big Spring” is the most well-known of the watershed’s springs.  It is also the largest in terms of gallons per minute of continuous flow,  ranging from 320 gals/min. to over 670 gals./min since 2004 when regular monitoring began.  Ballering and Bahr (2004) initiated spring flow monitoring and it continues with the blogger.

Arboretum Big Spring

The “Big Spring” is on the south shore of Lake Wingra in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum.  The “Big Spring” is flanked by West Spring and White Clay Spring (so-called because of the upwelling white sandy-clay soil) to the east.

White Clay Spring

White Clay springs has a flow rate ranging from 11 gals/min. to over 170 gals/min since monitoring began in 2006.  West Spring is a seep area with a diffuse flow that has not been measured because I have not found a way to do it.

West Spring

The Arboretum springs are a wonderful place to spend time, any week of the year, but are especially magical in May because the wildflowers are blooming and the migrating warblers are singing from the tree tops.

Ballering, N. and J. Bahr.  2004. Spring flow and water quality in the Lake Wingra Watershed.  Undergraduate Research Scholars Program, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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About Steve Glass

The blogger is a restoration ecologist practicing and writing in the Midwestern United States.
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