Identification of Source Water Mixing in the Fish Slough Spring Complex, Mono County, California, USA
- An early reconnaissance phase during the early to mid-decades of the twentieth century, conducted to understand the regional geology, along with a focused evaluation of the Fish Slough area as a potential reservoir site.
- Investigations related to development of a water resource available for export out of the Owens Valley groundwater basin that were based on historical literature review and hydrologic modeling, with no Fish Slough-specific field work.
- Efforts in recent decades to comprehensively document and understand Fish Slough and causes for the declining flow of the spring.
2. Materials and Methods
3.1. Geologic Framework
3.3. Geochemistry and Isotopic Composition
3.3.1. Adobe Valley Area
- River Spring (at two spring vents)
- Antelope Spring
- “Michelle Spring” (Black Lake vicinity)
- “Browner Spring” (Black Lake vicinity)
3.3.2. Benton Hot Springs Area
3.3.3. Additional Northern Areas
3.3.4. Tri-Valley Basin Fill
3.3.5. Fish Slough Springs
- Northeast Spring is from a regional water source, deriving part of its water from the alluvial Tri-Valley groundwater system. This conclusion is based on
- general chemistry similarity to the Ca-HCO3 water type identified in the Tri-Valley area alluvial basins which differs significantly from the Na-HCO3 waters identified in the Benton Hot Springs and the Adobe Valley springs;
- stable isotope ratios are similar to those identified in the Tri-Valley area and separated from BLM and Northwest Springs; and
- the presence of 3H indicating that the spring water has a composite post-1950 age similar to that identified in the Tri-Valley groundwater system.
- Northwest and BLM Springs are regionally derived and are a possible mixture of more sodic sources to the north (Adobe Valley and Benton Hot Springs area) and northwest (Volcanic Tablelands), mixing with Fish Slough Northeast Spring/Tri-Valley water. This conclusion is based on
- general chemistry similarity to Tri-Valley water but with increasing sodium content with increased distance from Northeast Spring and trending toward the more volcanically-derived chemistry of the Adobe Valley waters;
- stable isotope ratios mid-range between Tri-Valley basin-fill groundwater and groundwater in the Adobe Valley/Benton Hot Springs area; and
- absence of 3H, potentially indicative of a longer flow path or dilution of tritium-bearing water from Northeast Springs to nondetectable values from non-3H-bearing groundwater from the northwest.
- Source water mixing combines two key source areas that feed the Fish Slough springs. These waters mix downgradient from Northeast Spring. In this area, transitional geochemical conditions and the diluting out of 3H that is observed at Northeast Spring (and absent from BLM and Northwest Spring) occurs.
- regularly resampling of springs to evaluate seasonal changes in geochemical characteristics in Fish Slough spring geochemistry;
- regular monitoring and maintenance of flow gauges and channels is recommended to collect accurate data and minimize erroneous measurements;
- radiocarbon analysis of spring discharge to further assess rates of groundwater movement;
- additional surface water, spring water, or groundwater sampling from existing wells in the vicinity of Fish Slough, to further refine the chemical characteristics and pathways of regional waters;
- additional hydraulic characterization of the system including installation of monitoring wells (potentially screened both in and below the Bishop Tuff) in the Fish Slough and the Hammil/Chalfant Valley area to monitor groundwater levels in conjunction with spring flow monitoring; and
- development of a numerical model of the Tri-Valley and Fish Slough areas as a water management tool for the Tri-Valley/northern Owens Valley.
Conflicts of Interest
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|Feature||Date||Owner||Latitude (1)||Longitude (1)||Elev (ft msl)||pH||Temperature (deg C)||Conductivity (ƒÊS)||TDS (ppm)||Dis. Oxygen (mg/L)||dD||d18O||3H (NTU)|
|Fish Slough Area|
|BLM Spring||3/15/2017||BLM||37.48044||−118.40324||4195||7.66||20||436||219||3.06||−126.7||−16.35||ND<0.6 (5)|
|BLM Spring (Upper Vent)||3/15/2017||BLM||37.48059||−118.40329||4195||7.80(2)||20.9||507||252||4.06||−126.5||−16.37||ND<0.6|
|BLM Spring (Linear Vent)||3/15/2017||BLM||37.48031||−118.40260||4195||8.03||22.4||509||255||3.5||−124.7||−16.27||NA (3)|
|FS Northeast Spring (NE Spring)||6/10/2017||LADWP||37.51793||−118.40016||4217||7.89||21.6||384||191||0.93||−122.8||−16.25||0.76 (+/−0.25)|
|FS Northwest Spring (NW Spring)||6/10/2017||LADWP||37.50801||−118.41431||4203||7.89||20.3||356||178||2.46||−124.9||−16.20||NA|
|Fish Slough Well #2||3/15/2017||LADWP||37.47654||−118.39893||4186||7.79||11.7||535||266||2.54||−121.7||−15.97||<0.71|
|Adobe Valley/Benton Range|
|River Spring (Dock Vent)||3/16/2017||BLM||37.93850||−118.61340||6496||8.23||16.9||190||95||2.68||−132.5||−17.37||NA|
|Unnamed (UN) #1 (W of Black Lake)||3/14/2017||BLM||37.80527||−118.60192||7171||NM||NM (4)||NM||NM||NM||NM||NM||NA|
|Unnamed (UN) #3 (SW of Benton HS)||3/16/2017||BLM||37.77710||−118.54913||6209||7.02||8.8||89||45||5.25||−117.9||−15.30||NA|
|Easement South Spring||4/21/2017||Private||37.81525||−118.51291||5550||7.44||17.9||427||213||3.09||−131.8||−16.68||<0.52|
|Easement North Spring||4/21/2017||Private||37.81580||−118.51267||5545||7.22||16.9||469||235||1.43||−131.1||−16.57||NA|
|Benton Hot Springs||1977||Private||Coordinates not provided in report||9.32||56.5||NM||NM||NM||−135.5||−17.46||NA|
|White Mountain Creeks|
|Tri−Valley GAMA Wells|
|“GAMA#1”-Laws 1||10/5/2006||37.40308||−118.34547||4122||7.5||17.5||816 (sp.cond)||NM||5.5||−120||−15.82||0.59|
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Zdon, A.; Rainville, K.; Buckmaster, N.; Parmenter, S.; Love, A.H. Identification of Source Water Mixing in the Fish Slough Spring Complex, Mono County, California, USA. Hydrology 2019, 6, 26. https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology6010026
Zdon A, Rainville K, Buckmaster N, Parmenter S, Love AH. Identification of Source Water Mixing in the Fish Slough Spring Complex, Mono County, California, USA. Hydrology. 2019; 6(1):26. https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology6010026Chicago/Turabian Style
Zdon, Andy, Keith Rainville, Nicholas Buckmaster, Steve Parmenter, and Adam H. Love. 2019. "Identification of Source Water Mixing in the Fish Slough Spring Complex, Mono County, California, USA" Hydrology 6, no. 1: 26. https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology6010026