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Geohydrology and artificial-recharge potential of the Irvine area, Orange County, California

Open-File Report 73-264

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Abstract

The Irvine area is in hydraulic continuity with the rest of the coastal plain in Orange County. Factors that distinguish the aquifer section of the Irvine area from that in other parts of the coastal plain are a low permeability, a high clay and silt content, and a thin alluvial sequence. Rapid facies change and the large percentage of silt and clay in the section locally result in confining conditions. The aquifer, most of which is included in the Fernando Formation, is as much as 1,300 feet thick beneath parts of the plain. The alluvium overlying the Fernando Formation averages about 200-250 feet in thickness and also contains significant amounts of silt and clay. Transmissivities range from 25,000 to 100,000 gallons per day per foot in the Irvine area, values which are much lower than those in the rest of the coastal plain in Orange County. Water levels have recovered as much as 60 feet from the low levels of the early 1950's. Water-level maps indicate that in the winter non-pumping season water tends to move toward upper Newport Bay and the rest of the coastal plain. During the summer pumping season a cone of depression develops, reversing the winter gradient. The average dissolved-solids content of the ground water is about 800 milligrams per liter. The most prevalent cations are sodium and calcium; the most prevalent anions are bicarbonate and sulfate. No long-term degradation of water quality has occurred, with the exception of a slight increase in dissolved solids. No areas in the Irvine area are suitable for the large-scale spreading of water for artificial recharge. Clay and silt predominate in the section beneath the Tustin plain, and in the foothill areas either bedrock is close to the surface or the alluvium is fine grained.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Geohydrology and artificial-recharge potential of the Irvine area, Orange County, California
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
73-264
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1973
Language:
ENGLISH
Description:
44 p. ill., maps ; 27 cm.