Acidic waters containing elevated concentrations of dissolved metals have contaminated the regional aquifer in the Pinal Creek Basin, which is in Gila County, Arizona, about 100 kilometers east of Phoenix. The aquifer is made up of two geologic units: unconsolidated stream alluvium and consolidated basin fill. To better understand how contaminants are transported through these units, a better understanding of the distribution of hydraulic conductivity and processes that affect it within the aquifer is needed.
Slug tests were done in September 1997 and October 1998 on 9 wells finished in the basin fill and 14 wells finished in the stream alluvium. Data from the tests were analyzed by using either the Bouwer and Rice (1976) method, or by using an extension to the method developed by Springer and Gellhar (1991). Both methods are applicable for unconfined aquifers and partially penetrating wells. The results of the analyses show wide variability within and between the two geologic units. Hydraulic conductivity estimates ranged from 0.5 to 250 meters per day for the basin fill and from 3 to 200 meters per day for the stream alluvium. Results of the slug tests also show a correlation coefficient of 0.83 between the hydraulic conductivity and the pH of the ground water. The areas of highest hydraulic conductivity coincide with the areas of lowest pH, and the areas of lowest hydraulic conductivity coincide with the areas of highest pH, suggesting that the acidic water is increasing the hydraulic conductivity of the aquifer by dissolution of carbonate minerals.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Title||Characterization of hydraulic conductivity of the alluvium and basin fill, Pinal Creek Basin near Globe, Arizona|
|Series title||Water-Resources Investigations Report|
|Publisher||U.S. Geological Survey|
|Publisher location||Tucson, AZ|
|Description||iv, 25 p.|
|Other Geospatial||Pinal Creek Basin|