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Article

Groundwater Origin and Dynamics on the Eastern Flank of the Colorado River Delta, Mexico

1
Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
2
Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This author is retired.
Academic Editors: Molla B. Demlie and Tamiru A. Abiye
Hydrology 2021, 8(2), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology8020080
Received: 17 April 2021 / Revised: 6 May 2021 / Accepted: 8 May 2021 / Published: 11 May 2021
Isotope data and major ion chemistry were used to identify aquifer recharge mechanisms and geochemical evolution of groundwaters along the US–Mexico border. Local recharge originates as precipitation and occurs during winter through preferential infiltration pathways along the base of the Gila Range. This groundwater is dominated by Na–Cl of meteoric origin and is highly concentrated due to the dissolution of soluble salts accumulated in the near-surface. The hydrochemical evolution of waters in the irrigated floodplain is controlled by Ca–Mg–Cl/Na–Cl-type Colorado River water. However, salinity is increased through evapotranspiration, precipitation of calcite, dissolution of accumulated soil salts, de-dolomitization, and exchange of aqueous Ca2+ for adsorbed Na+. The Na–Cl-dominated local recharge flows southwest from the Gila Range and mixes with the Ca–Mg–Cl/Na–Cl-dominated floodplain waters beneath the Yuma and San Luis Mesas. Low 3H suggests that recharge within the Yuma and San Luis Mesas occurred at least before the 1950s, and 14C data are consistent with bulk residence times up to 11,500 uncorrected 14C years before present. Either the flow system is not actively recharged, or recharge occurs at a significantly lower rate than what is being withdrawn, leading to aquifer overdraft and deterioration. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater; environmental isotopes; hydrochemistry; transboundary aquifer; Colorado River Delta groundwater; environmental isotopes; hydrochemistry; transboundary aquifer; Colorado River Delta
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zamora, H.A.; Eastoe, C.J.; McIntosh, J.C.; Flessa, K.W. Groundwater Origin and Dynamics on the Eastern Flank of the Colorado River Delta, Mexico. Hydrology 2021, 8, 80. https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology8020080

AMA Style

Zamora HA, Eastoe CJ, McIntosh JC, Flessa KW. Groundwater Origin and Dynamics on the Eastern Flank of the Colorado River Delta, Mexico. Hydrology. 2021; 8(2):80. https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology8020080

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zamora, Hector A., Christopher J. Eastoe, Jennifer C. McIntosh, and Karl W. Flessa 2021. "Groundwater Origin and Dynamics on the Eastern Flank of the Colorado River Delta, Mexico" Hydrology 8, no. 2: 80. https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology8020080

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