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Use of isotopic data to evaluate recharge and geologic controls on the movement of ground water in Las Posas Valley, Ventura County, California

Water-Resources Investigations Report 97-4035

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Abstract

Injection, storage, and recovery of imported water is planned for aquifers underlying Las Posas Valley. To evaluate sources of ground-water recharge and the age of the water (time since recharge), and to identify barriers to ground-water flow prior to the injection of imported water, samples from wells and surface sources were collected and analyzed for chemical and isotopic composition. The delta oxygen- 18 and delta deuterium composition in almost 50 samples from 32 wells ranged from -6.0 to -7.9 per mil, and -40 to -60 per mil, respectively; and in 13 samples of surface water at 6 sites the composition ranged from -6.2 to -9.4 per mil, and -42 to -71 per mil, respectively. Water from wells in the upper aquifer system near Arroyo Simi and Arroyo Las Posas (different reaches of the same stream) was isotopi cally lighter than water from other wells sampled and was similar in isotopic composition to water in the stream. Water in the stream is a mixture of local water and imported water from northern California that was discharged to the stream as treated municipal wastewater. Water from wells near the stream contained tritium and, therefore, was recharged less than 50 years ago. Water from wells in other parts of the valley was isotopically heavier, did not contain tritium, and, therefore, was recharged more than 50 years ago. Interpreted carbon-14 ages for water from wells along a flow path through the valley ranged from at least 800 to more than 8,000 years before present. There were large differences in the chemistry, isotopic composition, and interpreted age of water from wells between the eastern and western parts of Las Posas Valley. These changes are consistent with geologic and hydrologic data that suggest the presence of a barrier to ground-water flow between east and west Las Posas Valley.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Use of isotopic data to evaluate recharge and geologic controls on the movement of ground water in Las Posas Valley, Ventura County, California
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
97-4035
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1997
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey ; Information Services [distributor],
Description:
iv, 12 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.