Aquifer recharge is one of the most important hydrologic parameters for understanding available groundwater volumes and making sustainable the use of natural water by minimizing groundwater mining. In this framework, we reviewed and evaluated the efficacy of multiple methods to determine recharge in a flood basalt terrain that is restrictive to infiltration and percolation. In the South Fork of the Columbia River Plateau, recent research involving hydrologic tracers and groundwater modeling has revealed a snowmelt-dominated system. Here, recharge is occurring along the intersection of mountain-front alluvial systems and the extensive Miocene flood basalt layers that form a fractured basalt and interbedded sediment aquifer system. The most recent groundwater flow model of the basin was based on a large physio-chemical dataset acquired in laterally and vertically distinctive locations that refined the understanding of the intersection of the margin alluvium and the spatially variable basalt flows that filled the basin. Modelled effective recharge of 25 and 105 mm/year appears appropriate for the basin's plain and the mountain front, respectively. These values refine previous efforts on quantifying aquifer recharge based on Darcy's law, one-dimensional infiltration, zero-flux plane, chloride, storage, and mass-balance methods. Overall, the combination of isotopic hydrochemical data acquired in three dimensions and flow modelling efforts were needed to simultaneously determine groundwater dynamics, recharge pathways, and appropriate model parameter values in a primarily basalt terrain. This holistic approach to understanding recharge has assisted in conceptualizing the aquifer for resource managers that have struggled to understand aquifer dynamics and sustainable withdrawals.

Pathways and estimate of aquifer recharge in a flood basalt terrain. A review from the South Fork Palouse River Basin (Columbia River Plateau, USA)

Medici, G
;
2022

Abstract

Aquifer recharge is one of the most important hydrologic parameters for understanding available groundwater volumes and making sustainable the use of natural water by minimizing groundwater mining. In this framework, we reviewed and evaluated the efficacy of multiple methods to determine recharge in a flood basalt terrain that is restrictive to infiltration and percolation. In the South Fork of the Columbia River Plateau, recent research involving hydrologic tracers and groundwater modeling has revealed a snowmelt-dominated system. Here, recharge is occurring along the intersection of mountain-front alluvial systems and the extensive Miocene flood basalt layers that form a fractured basalt and interbedded sediment aquifer system. The most recent groundwater flow model of the basin was based on a large physio-chemical dataset acquired in laterally and vertically distinctive locations that refined the understanding of the intersection of the margin alluvium and the spatially variable basalt flows that filled the basin. Modelled effective recharge of 25 and 105 mm/year appears appropriate for the basin's plain and the mountain front, respectively. These values refine previous efforts on quantifying aquifer recharge based on Darcy's law, one-dimensional infiltration, zero-flux plane, chloride, storage, and mass-balance methods. Overall, the combination of isotopic hydrochemical data acquired in three dimensions and flow modelling efforts were needed to simultaneously determine groundwater dynamics, recharge pathways, and appropriate model parameter values in a primarily basalt terrain. This holistic approach to understanding recharge has assisted in conceptualizing the aquifer for resource managers that have struggled to understand aquifer dynamics and sustainable withdrawals.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1659647
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