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The Use of Geophysical Methods to Develop an Improved Model of the Processes Governing the Operation of an Artificial Recharge Pond

The Place

The field site for this research is the Harkins Slough artificial recharge pond, near Watsonville, California, U.S.A. Water is added to the pond during the winter months, percolates down into the region below the pond, is stored over a period of ~ 3 months, and is recovered through pumping at near-by recovery wells. The pond is owned and operated by the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency (PVWMA).

The Problem

What is causing the dramatic observed decrease in the infiltration rate over time? Why is not all of the stored water recovered? Where does the 'lost" water (70% of the stored water) go?

Our Approach

Geophysical techniques are being used and developed to provide information to hydrologists, at multiple spatial scales, about processes controlling both water quantity and water quality in the stored and recovered water. The goal of this project is to develop and demonstrate a methodology that integrates numerous forms of data to develop an improved understanding of the hydrologic system. This may, in turn, lead to improvements in the operation of the artificial recharge pond.

Project Publications and Presentations

  • Electrical resistivity for characterization and infiltration monitoring of a managed aquifer recharge pond, Vadose Zone Journal (2014)
  • Electrical Resistivity Imaging for Studying Dynamics of Vadose Zone Processes, EOS Trans. AGU 91(52), Fall Meet. Suppl. Abstract. (2014)
  • Long-Term Monitoring of Infiltration at a Managed Aquifer Recharge Site Using Electrical Resistivity Probes. , EOS Trans. AGU 91(52), Fall Meet. Suppl. Abstract (2014)
  • Inversion of time-lapse electrical resistivity imaging data for monitoring infiltration, SEG Expanded Abstracts, SEG annual meeting 2010. (2014)
  • Rational experimental design for electrical resistivity imaging , Eos Trans (2014)
  • The Development of Electrical Conductivity Probes for Studying Vadose Zone Processes: Advances in Data Acquisition and Analysis, Vadoze Zone Journal (2012)
  • Application Of An Extended Kalman Filter Approach To Inversion Of Time-lapse Electrical Resistivity Imaging Data For Monitoring Infiltration, Water Resources Research (2011)
  • Informed Experimental Design For Electrical Resistivity Imaging, Near-surface Geophysics (2011)
  • Inversion Of Time-lapse Electrical Resistivity Imaging Data For Monitoring Infiltration, The Leading Edge (2011)
  • The Use of Wavelet Analysis to Derive Infiltration Rates from Time-lapse One-Dimensional Resistivity Records, Vadose Zone (2011)
  • Informed Electrical Resistivity Imaging for Monitoring Infiltration Dynamics in the Near Surface, Ph.D. thesis, Stanford University (2010)
  • Numerical Modeling of Unconsolidated Sediments to Explore Relationships Between Electrical Conductivity and Hydrogeologic Parameters at the Pore-Scale, Eos Trans. AGU, 90(52), Fall Meet. (2009)
  • EOS Trans., AGU, 90(52), Fall Meet. Suppl., ., Abstract H43C-1045 PDF OF POSTER., (2009)
  • Hydrogeologic structure underlying a recharge pond delineated with shear-wave seismic reflection and cone penetrometer data , Near Surface Geophysics (2009)
  • Exploiting the temperature dependence of electrical resistivity measurements to monitor infiltration, National Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America (2008)
  • Temperature dependence of electrical resistivity measurements: A useful infiltration tracer? , Eos Trans. AGU (2008)