3H and 14C as tracers of ground-water recharge

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Surface spreading of water from the Santa Clara River is used to recharge aquifers underlying the Oxnard Plain. These aquifers are divided into an upper system about 400 feet thick, and a lower system more than 1,000 feet thick. In previous studies, it has been reported that surface spreading recharged aquifers in both the upper and lower systems. Water from most wells perforated in the upper system has tritium levels consistent with decay-corrected concentrations found in water recharged after 1952 when tritium levels increased as a result of atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons. Water from most wells in the lower system does not contain measurable tritium and must have been recharged prior to 1952. Carbon-14 ages estimated for water from wells in the lower system range from recent to about 25,000 years before present. These data show that the lower system is not effectively recharged by surface spreading.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Conference Paper
Publication Subtype:
Conference Paper
3H and 14C as tracers of ground-water recharge
Year Published:
Publ by ASCE
Publisher location:
New York, NY, United States
Larger Work Title:
Irrigation and Drainage: Saving a Threatened Resource - In Search of Solutions, Proceedings of the Irrigation and Drainage Sessions at Water Forum '92
First page:
Last page:
Conference Title:
Proceedings of the ASCE National Conference on Irrigation and Drainage - Water Forum '92
Conference Location:
Baltimore, MD, USA
Conference Date:
2 August 1992 through 6 August 1992