Minnesota Hydrogeology Atlas (MHA)

Water-Table Elevation and Depth to Water Table: HG-03

generic Minnesota map

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This report, map, and digital data provide statewide groundwater information for the water-table elevation and depth to water table.

  • Water-table elevation represents the elevation of the water table relative to sea level.
  • Depth to water table represents the distance from the surface to the water table.

The water table is defined as the surface below which sediment is saturated with groundwater. It occurs in both aquifer and nonaquifer sediment across the entire state. In general, the water table is within 10 feet of the land surface and follows the surface topography. However, the water table can be more than 120 feet below land surface near deeply incised river valleys such as the St. Croix, Minnesota, and Mississippi river valleys.

Water-table elevation and depth to water table are considered in construction projects and land use programs. They provide data for evaluating the impact of potential pollutant sources on groundwater and are a component of surface-water infiltration planning. These maps provide guidance for all of these applications. However, additional site-specific information is required to make accurate determinations on a smaller scale.

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