A Columbia River Basalt Group Aquifer in Sustained Drought: Insight from Geophysical Methods
AbstractAquifers within the Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG) provide a critical water supply throughout much of the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Increased pumping has resulted in water level declines in this region. Recharge into this aquifer system is generally not well understood. Recent suggestions of probable decades-long droughts in the 21st century add to this problem. We show that geophysical methods can provide useful parameters for improved modeling of aquifers in a primary CRBG aquifer located on the eastern edge of the Columbia Plateau. Groundwater models depend in part on the area, thickness, porosity, storativity, and nature of confinement of this aquifer, most of which are poorly constrained by existing well information and previous stress tests. We have made use of surface gravity measurements, borehole gravity measurements, barometric efficiency estimates, earth tidal response, and earthquake seismology observations to constrain these parameters. We show that the aquifer, despite its persistent drawdown, receives a great deal of recharge annually. Much of the recharge to the aquifer is due to leakage from overlying flows, ultimately tied to precipitation, an important result for future aquifer management in times of sustained drought. View Full-Text
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.
Share & Cite This Article
Piersol, M.W.; Sprenke, K.F. A Columbia River Basalt Group Aquifer in Sustained Drought: Insight from Geophysical Methods. Resources 2015, 4, 577-596.
Piersol MW, Sprenke KF. A Columbia River Basalt Group Aquifer in Sustained Drought: Insight from Geophysical Methods. Resources. 2015; 4(3):577-596.Chicago/Turabian Style
Piersol, Mark W.; Sprenke, Kenneth F. 2015. "A Columbia River Basalt Group Aquifer in Sustained Drought: Insight from Geophysical Methods." Resources 4, no. 3: 577-596.