Deep untapped aquifers of late Pliocene age, which contain water having 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams per liter of dissolved solids, underlie most of the coastal part of Orange County. Inland from the Newport-Inglewood structural
zone, the depth to the base of aquifers containing fresh water ranges from 1,000 to 2,500 feet below mean sea level. The aquifers are composed of fine to medium sand with locally occurring beds of coarse sand and gravel. Permeability generally ranges from less than 50 gallons per day per square foot to 300 gallons per day per square foot. Pressure head increases with depth of the aquifer to as much as 40 feet above land surface near the base of fresh water. The water is of the sodium bicarbonate type, increasing in salinity with depth. Organic material imparts an amber color to the water, which becomes more distinct with depth. A test well, drilled to 926 feet and perforated from 784 to 884 feet, yielded 1,950 gallons per minute with about 90 feet of drawdown. The water is of the sodium bicarbonate type with dissolved solids of 225 mg/1. Additional studies are needed to evaluate the possibilities of subsidence due to pumping from the deep aquifers, to determine the vertical and horizontal permeabilities of confining beds, and to monitor the changes in water quality and water level.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Unnumbered Series
A study of deep aquifers underlying coastal Orange County, California