Minnesota Groundwater Tracing Database

The Minnesota Groundwater Tracing Database (MGTD) contains information from nearly 400 groundwater traces in Minnesota, most often using fluorescent dye. This information includes tracer input locations, inferred groundwater flow vectors, surface and subsurface springshed delineations, a comprehensive list of sampling locations that indicates whether or not the tracer was detected, and links to reports and associated documentation.

The online MGTD application contains live links to the Minnesota Spring Inventory, the Karst Feature Database, and the County Well Index. All are integral parts of the database and are intended to be used synchronously with trace information. The MGTD GIS files are available on request.

View a larger map of the Minnesota Groundwater Tracing Database with additional tools and features.


Groundwater Trace Reports

Trace reports typically include geologic and hydrogeologic descriptions of the study area, study methods, descriptions of tracer input and monitoring locations, a summary of where the tracer was or was not detected, and discussion of the trace findings relevant to springshed delineation and pollution sensitivity. The reports are largely a collaborative effort involving the DNR and the University of Minnesota with additional support from soil water conservation districts, the Minnesota Department of Health, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and the local caving community. Some additional reporting from groups outside the DNR and the University of Minnesota are included.

Groundwater tracing investigations may cross county boundaries in some cases. Reports are organized by county according to the tracer input point.


Report Link

Dakota County

Trout Brook2011, 2012a | 2011, 2012b

Dodge County

Salem Creek2004

Fillmore County

Bat River Cave2008
Canfield Creek2009 
Canton-Frego1941 Ideal Creamery | 2008 | 20092009, 2010, 2011 | 1943 AWWA
Crystal Creek20102010, 2011, 2013, 2016 a2010, 2011, 2013, 2016 b
Duschee Creek1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992
Forestville North2008 
Forestville State Park2013a2013b
Fountain1984 | 2012
Freiheit Spring2009a2009b | 2010a | 2010b
Jeff Green 24K USGS Quadrangles

Cherry Grove
Fountain a | Fountain b
Greenleafton a | Greenleafton b
Harmony a | Harmony b
Ostrander a | Ostrander b

Goliath's Cave2007
Harmony2007, 2009, 2010Spring 2008 | Fall 2008 | 1943 AWWA
Holy Grail Cave2015 [cave map]
Mystery Cave1996 [cave map]
Odessa Spring1997
Ron Spong 24K USGS Quadrangles


Chatfield a | Chatfield b [redacted]
Cherry Grove
Fountain a | Fountain b
Greenleafton a | Greenleafton b
Harmony a | Harmony b
Spring Valley
Stewartville a | Stewartville b
Washington a | Washington b
Wykoff a | Wykoff b

Shady Creek2012
South Branch Root River1983 | 2006, 2007, 2008 | 2009 | 2009 GSA
South Fork Root River2007
Spring Valley Caverns2003 | 2006a | 2006b
Stone Barn2004
Tyson Spring2009

Hennepin County

Camp Coldwater (Ft. Snelling)2001 (p. 4–6) | 2001, 2015

Houston County

Bridge Creek2012, 2013 
Daley Creek2009 
Girl Scout Camp Creek2013 
Indian Springs Creek2010
Sullivan Creek2009 
Winnebago Creek2008

Hubbard County

Deep Portage1997

Mower County

Grand Meadow1998
Jeff Green 24K USGS Quadrangles

Ostrander a | Ostrander b

Olmsted County

Morehart Farm2007 
Orion, Marion, Eyota2014, 2015, 2016
Oronoco Landfill1989, 1990 (p. 417 - 429) | 1989, 1990
Rochester1942 | 1943 AWWA
Salem Creek2004

Pine County

Askov2005a | 2005b

Wabasha County

Gilbert Creek2012
Gorman Creek2011 

Winona County

Ahrensfeld Borson NE2007 | 2007, 2008, 2010
Cambell Valley Creek2012, 2013 
Lewiston Interchange2008
Murphy (Winona County) Landfill1982a | 1982a
Whitewater River Valley1980a | 1980b | 1980, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 | 2010


Related Information

The related information section contains documentation that typically includes the results of previously reported investigations, but expands the content to include more broadly based synthesis and discussion.

Sinkhole Conferences


See Contacts - Dye Tracing.