Groundwater flow modeling was used to quantitatively assess the hydrologic processes affecting ground water and solute movement to drain laterals. Modeling results were used to calculate the depth distribution of groundwater flowing into drain laterals at 1.8 m (drain lateral 1) and 2.7 m (drain lateral 2) below land surface. The simulations indicated that under nonirrigated conditions about 89% of the flow in drain lateral 2 was from groundwater originating from depths greater than 6 m below land surface. The deep groundwater has higher selenium concentrations than shallow groundwater. Simulation of irrigated conditions indicates that as recharge (deep percolation) increases, the proportional contribution of deep groundwater to drain lateral flow decreases. Groundwater flow paths and travel times estimated from the simulation results indicate that groundwater containing high concentrations of selenium (greater than 780 μg L−1) probably will continue to enter drain lateral 2 for decades.
Additional publication details
Groundwater flow and solute movement to drain laterals, western San Joaquin Valley, California: 2. Quantitative hydrologic assessment