Chemical and isotopic patterns in groundwater can record characteristics of water sources, flow directions, and groundwater-age information. This hydrochemical information can be useful in refining conceptualization of groundwater flow, in calibration of numerical models of groundwater flow, and in estimation of paleo and modern recharge rates. This case study shows how chemical and isotopic data were used to characterize sources and flow of groundwater in the Middle Rio Grande Basin (MRGB) of New Mexico, USA. The 14C model ages of the groundwater samples are on the tens of thousands of year timescale. These data changed some of the prevailing ideas about flow in the MRGB, and were used to improve a numerical model of the aquifer system.
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Case study Middle Rio Grande Basin, New Mexico, USA: Chapter 12