A mathematical model of the Indian Wells Valley ground-water basin was developed and verified. The alternating-direction implicit method was used to compute the mathematical solution. It was assumed that there are only two aquifers in the valley, one being deep and the other shallow. Where the shallow aquifer occurs, the underlying deep aquifer is confined or artesian. Flow between the aquifers under steady-state conditions is assumed to be in one direction, from deep to shallow. The transmissivity of the deep aquifer ranges from about 250,000 to 22,000 gallons per day per foot and from about 25,000 to 5,000 gallons per day per foot for the shallow aquifer. The storage coefficient for the deep aquifer ranges from 1 x 10 -4 to 0.20.
Steady-state recharge and discharge in each aquifer was estimated to be 9,850 acre-feet per year. Ground-water pumping, sewage-effluent recharge, and capture of ground-water discharge occurred under non-steady-state conditions. Most of the ground-water pumpage is near Ridgecrest and Inyokern and in the area between the two towns. By 1968 pumpage in the deep aquifer had caused a reversal in the ground-water gradient south of China Lake and small water-level declines over most of the aquifer. The model for the deep aquifer was verified under steady-state and non-steady-state conditions. The shallow aquifer was verified under steady-state conditions only.
The verified model was then used to generate 1983 water-level conditions in the deep aquifer.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Mathematical ground-water model of Indian Wells Valley, California
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Geological Survey, Water Resources Division,