Numerical model of a tracer test on the Santa Clara River, Ventura County, California

Journal of the American Water Resources Association
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Abstract

To better understand the flow processes, solute-transport processes, and ground-water/surface-water interactions on the Santa Clara River in Ventura County, California, a 24-hour fluorescent-dye tracer study was performed under steady-state flow conditions on a 45-km reach of the river. The study reach includes perennial (uppermost and lowermost) subreaches and ephemeral subreaches of the lower Piru Creek and the middle Santa Clara River. The tracer-test data were used to calibrate a one-dimensional flow model (DAFLOW) and a solute-transport model (BLTM). The dye-arrival times at each sample location were simulated by calibrating the velocity parameters in DAFLOW. The simulations of dye transport indicated that (1) ground-water recharge explains the loss of mass in the ephemeral middle subreaches, and (2) groundwater recharge does not explain the loss of mass in the perennial uppermost and lowermost subreaches. The observed tracer curves in the perennial subreaches were indicative of sorptive dye losses, transient storage, and (or) photodecay - these phenomena were simulated using a linear decay term. However, analysis of the linear decay terms indicated that photodecay was not a dominant source of dye loss.To better understand the flow processes, solute-transport processes, and ground-water/surface-water interactions on the Santa Clara River in Ventura County, California, a 24-hour fluorescent-dye tracer study was performed under steady-state flow conditions on a 45-km reach of the river. The study reach includes perennial (uppermost and lowermost) subreaches and ephemeral subreaches of the lower Piru Creek and the middle Santa Clara River. The tracer-test data were used to calibrate a one-dimension-al flow model (DAFLOW) and a solute-transport model (BLTM). The dye-arrival times at each sample location were simulated by calibrating the velocity parameters in DAFLOW. The simulations of dye transport indicated that (1) ground-water recharge explains the loss of mass in the ephemeral middle subreaches, and (2) ground-water recharge does not explain the loss of mass in the perennial uppermost and lowermost subreaches. The observed tracer curves in the perennial subreaches were indicative of sorptive dye losses, transient storage, and (or) photodecay - these phenomena were simulated using a linear decay term. However, analysis of the linear decay terms indicated that photodecay was not a dominant source of dye loss.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Numerical model of a tracer test on the Santa Clara River, Ventura County, California
Series title Journal of the American Water Resources Association
DOI 10.1111/j.1752-1688.1999.tb05458.x
Volume 35
Issue 1
Year Published 1999
Language English
Publisher American Water Resources Assoc
Contributing office(s) California Water Science Center
Description 10 p.
First page 133
Last page 142
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