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Gaining the necessary geologic, hydrologic, and geochemical understanding for additional brackish groundwater development, coastal San Diego, California, USA

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Abstract

Local water agencies and the United States Geological Survey are using a combination of techniques to better understand the scant freshwater resources and the much more abundant brackish resources in coastal San Diego, California, USA. Techniques include installation of multiple-depth monitoring well sites; geologic and paleontological analysis of drill cuttings; geophysical logging to identify formations and possible seawater intrusion; sampling of pore-water obtained from cores; analysis of chemical constituents including trace elements and isotopes; and use of scoping models including a three-dimensional geologic framework model, rainfall-runoff model, regional groundwater flow model, and coastal density-dependent groundwater flow model. Results show that most fresh groundwater was recharged during the last glacial period and that the coastal aquifer has had recurring intrusions of fresh and saline water. These intrusions disguise the source, flowpaths, and history of ground water near the coast. The flow system includes a freshwater lens resting on brackish water; a 100-meter-thick flowtube of freshwater discharging under brackish estuarine water and above highly saline water; and broad areas of fine-grained coastal sediment filled with fairly uniform brackish water. Stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen indicate the recharged water flows through many kilometers of fractured crystalline rock before entering the narrow coastal aquifer.

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Book
Publication Subtype:
Conference publication
Title:
Gaining the necessary geologic, hydrologic, and geochemical understanding for additional brackish groundwater development, coastal San Diego, California, USA
Year Published:
2012
Language:
English
Publisher:
Salt Water Intrusion Meeting (SWIM)
Contributing office(s):
California Water Science Center
Description:
5 p.
Larger Work Title:
22nd Salt Water Intrusion Meeting (SWIM)
Conference Title:
22nd Salt Water Intrusion Meeting (SWIM)
Conference Location:
Buzios, Brazil
Conference Date:
2012-06-17T00:00:00
Country:
United States
State:
California
City:
San Diego