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Aquifer-system compaction, Tucson Basin and Avra Valley, Arizona

Water-Resources Investigations Report 88-4172

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Abstract

Groundwater declines of several ft/yr since the 1940 's have induced aquifer-system compaction and land subsidence of as much as 0.5 ft in the Tucson basin and 1.1 ft in Avra Valley, Arizona. Aquifer system compaction is affected by the layering, hydraulic diffusivity, preconsolidation-stress threshold, and stress history of the aquifer system. Layering at extensometer sites can be categorized into three general groups that typify the fine-grained and coarse-grained layering within the Fort Lowell Formation and upper Tinaja beds. Data from the first group show almost as much elastic as inelastic compaction, a layering frequency of six layers/100 ft, and weighted-average aquitard thicknesses of 20 to 50 ft. Data from the second group show inelastic compaction, a layering frequency of two to three layers/100 ft, an average aquitard thickness of less than 20 ft. Data from the third group show inelastic compaction, a layering frequency of fewer than two layers/100 ft, an average aquitard thickness of more than 30 ft. A one-dimensional compaction model was applied to data from six extensometers to simulate aquifer-system compaction of less than 0.1 ft. Values of elastic and some values of inelastic specific storage are comparable to values estimated in California. Parts of the aquifer system appear to be in transition from predominantly elastic to inelastic compaction. Water level declines since 1940 at six extensometer sites are within an estimated preconsolidation-stress threshold of 50 to 150 ft. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Aquifer-system compaction, Tucson Basin and Avra Valley, Arizona
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
88-4172
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1989
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
vi, 69 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.