Development and use of a mathematical model of the San Bernardino Valley ground-water basin, California

Open-File Report 80-576
By:  and 



Part of the San Bernardino urbanized area in California overlies formerly swampy lands with a history of flowing wells. This area , upgradient from and adjacent to the San Jacinto fault, contains a zone in an alluvial ground-water basin that is under artesian pressure. Since 1945, withdrawals have exceeded recharge and caused head declines of more than 100 feet. Artificial recharge of imported water in the upgradient areas may cause ground-water levels to rise, which could cause abandoned but unplugged wells to resume flowing. If so, structures could be damaged. A two-layer Galerkin finite-element digital model was used for predicting the rate and extent of the rise in water levels from 1975 to 2000. Six hydrologic conditions were modeled for the basin. Artificial recharge of one-half entitlement and full entitlement from the California Aqueduct were each coupled with low, average, and high natural recharge to the basin. According to model predictions, the greatest water level rises will be along the San Bernardino front. This area encompasses the artificial recharge sites and also has a thick section of unsaturated sediments for storing ground water. The formerly swampy lands between Warm Creek and the Santa Ana River adjacent to the San Jacinto fault have little additional storage capacity, and water levels could rise to the land surface as early as 1983 under maximum recharge conditions and 1970-74 average pumping conditions. If pumping rates are reduced in the Warm Creek area, water levels may rise to land surface prior to the dates predicted by the model, regardless of the artificial-recharge program. (USGS)
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Development and use of a mathematical model of the San Bernardino Valley ground-water basin, California
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 80-576
DOI 10.3133/ofr80576
Edition -
Year Published 1980
Language ENGLISH
Publisher Water Resources Division, U.S. Geological Survey,
Description iv, 84 p. ill., maps ;28 cm.
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