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Use of a three-dimensional model for the analysis of the ground-water flow system in Parker Valley, Arizona and California

Open-File Report 82-1006

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Abstract

A three-dimensional, finite-difference model was used to simulate ground-water flow conditions in Parker Valley. The study evaluated present knowledge and concepts of the ground-water system and the ability of the model to represent the system. Modeling assumptions and generalized physical parameters that were used may have transfer value in the construction and calibration of models of other basins along the lower Colorado River. The aquifer was simulated in two layers to represent the three-dimensional system. Ground-water conditions were simulated for 1940-41, the mid-1960's, and 1980. Overall model results generally compared favorably with available field information. The model results showed that for 1940-41 the Colorado River was a losing stream through out Parker Valley. Infiltration of surface water from the river was the major source of recharge. The dominant mechanism of discharge was evapotranspiration by phreatophytes. Agricultural development between 1941 and the mid-1960 's resulted in significant changes to the ground-water system. Model results for conditions in the mid-1960 's showed that the Colorado River had become a gaining stream in the northern part of the valley as a result of higher water levels. The rise in water levels was caused by infiltration of applied irrigation water. Diminished water-level gradients from the river in the rest of the valley reduced the amount of infiltration of surface water from the river. Models results for conditions in 1980 showed that ground-water level rises of several feet caused further reduction in the amount of surface-water infiltration from the river. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Use of a three-dimensional model for the analysis of the ground-water flow system in Parker Valley, Arizona and California
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
82-1006
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1982
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
vi, 60 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.