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INTRODUCTION Water budgets provide a means for evaluating availability and sustainability of a water supply. A water budget simply states that the rate of change in water stored in an area, such as a watershed, is balanced by the rate at which water flows into and out of the area. An understanding of water budgets and underlying hydrologic processes provides a foundation for effective water-resource and environmental planning and management. Observed changes in water budgets of an area over time can be used to assess the effects of climate variability and human activities on water resources. Comparison of water budgets from different areas allows the effects of factors such as geology, soils, vegetation, and land...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Summary Regional ground-water recharge estimates for Minnesota were compared to estimates made on the basis of four local- and basin-scale methods. Three local-scale methods (unsaturated-zone water balance, water-table fluctuations (WTF) using three approaches, and age dating of ground water) yielded point estimates of recharge that represent spatial scales from about 1 to about 1000 m2. A fourth method (RORA, a basin-scale analysis of streamflow records using a recession-curve-displacement technique) yielded recharge estimates at a scale of 10–1000s of km2. The RORA basin-scale recharge estimates were regionalized to estimate recharge for the entire State of Minnesota on the basis of a regional regression recharge...
Pesticide leaching through variably thick soils beneath agricultural fields in Morgan Creek, Maryland was simulated for water years 1995 to 2004 using LEACHM (Leaching Estimation and Chemistry Model). Fifteen individual models were constructed to simulate five depths and three crop rotations with associated pesticide applications. Unsaturated zone thickness averaged 4.7 m but reached a maximum of 18.7 m. Average annual recharge to ground water decreased from 15.9 to 11.1 cm as the unsaturated zone increased in thickness from 1 to 10 m. These point estimates of recharge are at the lower end of previously published values, which used methods that integrate over larger areas capturing focused recharge in the numerous...
Summary Ground-water recharge estimates for selected locations in the eastern half of the United States were obtained by Darcian and chloride-tracer methods and compared using statistical analyses. Recharge estimates derived from unsaturated-zone (RUZC) and saturated-zone (RSZC) chloride mass balance methods are less variable (interquartile ranges or IQRs are 9.5 and 16.1 cm/yr, respectively) and more strongly correlated with climatic, hydrologic, land use, and sediment variables than Darcian estimates (IQR = 22.8 cm/yr). The unit-gradient Darcian estimates are a nonlinear function of moisture content and also reflect the uncertainty of pedotransfer functions used to estimate hydraulic parameters. Significance level...
Development of coal-bed natural gas (CBNG) in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming, has increased substantially in recent years. Among environmental concerns associated with this development is the fate of groundwater removed with the gas. A preferred water-management option is storage in surface impoundments. As of January 2007, permits for more than 4000 impoundments had been issued within Wyoming. A study was conducted on changes in water and sediment chemistry as water from an impoundment infiltrated the subsurface. Sediment cores were collected prior to operation of the impoundment and after its closure and reclamation. Suction lysimeters were used to collect water samples from beneath the impoundment. Large amounts...
The software package VS2DI was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey for simulating water, solute, and heat transport in variably saturated porous media. The package consists of a graphical preprocessor to facilitate construction of a simulation, a postprocessor for visualizing simulation results, and two numerical models that solve for flow and solute transport (VS2DT) and flow and heat transport (VS2DH). The finite-difference method is used to solve the Richards equation for flow and the advection–dispersion equation for solute or heat transport. This study presents a brief description of the VS2DI package, an overview of the various types of problems that have been addressed with the package, and an analysis...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Summary The Powder River Basin is one of the largest producers of coal-bed natural gas (CBNG) in the United States. An important environmental concern in the Basin is the fate of the large amounts of groundwater extracted during CBNG production. Most of this produced water is disposed of in unlined surface impoundments. A 6-year study of groundwater flow and water chemistry at one impoundment, Skewed Reservoir, has produced the most detailed data set for any impoundment in the Basin. Data were collected from a network of 21 observation wells and three suction lysimeters. A groundwater mound formed atop bedrock within initially unsaturated, unconsolidated deposits underlying the reservoir. Heterogeneity in physical...
A thin layer of fine-grained sediment commonly is deposited at the sediment–water interface of streams and rivers during low-flow conditions, and may hinder exchange at the sediment–water interface similar to that observed at many riverbank-filtration (RBF) sites. Results from a numerical groundwater-flow model indicate that a low-permeability veneer reduces the contribution of river water to a pumping well in a riparian aquifer to various degrees, depending on simulated hydraulic gradients, hydrogeological properties, and pumping conditions. Seepage of river water is reduced by 5–10% when a 2-cm thick, low-permeability veneer is present on the bed surface. Increasing thickness of the low-permeability layer to 0·1...
A new process for simulating three-dimensional (3-D) variably saturated flow (VSF) using Richards‘ equation has been added to the 3-D modular finite-difference ground-water model MODFLOW. Five new packages are presented here as part of the VSF Process--the Richards‘ Equation Flow (REF1) Package, the Seepage Face (SPF1) Package, the Surface Ponding (PND1) Package, the Surface Evaporation (SEV1) Package, and the Root Zone Evapotranspiration (RZE1) Package. Additionally, a new Adaptive Time-Stepping (ATS1) Package is presented for use by both the Ground-Water Flow (GWF) Process and VSF. The VSF Process allows simulation of flow in unsaturated media above the ground-water zone and facilitates modeling of ground-water/surface-water...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Summary Ground-water recharge estimates for selected locations in the eastern half of the United States were obtained by Darcian and chloride-tracer methods and compared using statistical analyses. Recharge estimates derived from unsaturated-zone (RUZC) and saturated-zone (RSZC) chloride mass balance methods are less variable (interquartile ranges or IQRs are 9.5 and 16.1 cm/yr, respectively) and more strongly correlated with climatic, hydrologic, land use, and sediment variables than Darcian estimates (IQR = 22.8 cm/yr). The unit-gradient Darcian estimates are a nonlinear function of moisture content and also reflect the uncertainty of pedotransfer functions used to estimate hydraulic parameters. Significance level...
A thin layer of fine-grained sediment commonly is deposited at the sediment–water interface of streams and rivers during low-flow conditions, and may hinder exchange at the sediment–water interface similar to that observed at many riverbank-filtration (RBF) sites. Results from a numerical groundwater-flow model indicate that a low-permeability veneer reduces the contribution of river water to a pumping well in a riparian aquifer to various degrees, depending on simulated hydraulic gradients, hydrogeological properties, and pumping conditions. Seepage of river water is reduced by 5–10% when a 2-cm thick, low-permeability veneer is present on the bed surface. Increasing thickness of the low-permeability layer to 0·1...
Summary Regional ground-water recharge estimates for Minnesota were compared to estimates made on the basis of four local- and basin-scale methods. Three local-scale methods (unsaturated-zone water balance, water-table fluctuations (WTF) using three approaches, and age dating of ground water) yielded point estimates of recharge that represent spatial scales from about 1 to about 1000 m2. A fourth method (RORA, a basin-scale analysis of streamflow records using a recession-curve-displacement technique) yielded recharge estimates at a scale of 10–1000s of km2. The RORA basin-scale recharge estimates were regionalized to estimate recharge for the entire State of Minnesota on the basis of a regional regression recharge...
INTRODUCTION Water budgets provide a means for evaluating availability and sustainability of a water supply. A water budget simply states that the rate of change in water stored in an area, such as a watershed, is balanced by the rate at which water flows into and out of the area. An understanding of water budgets and underlying hydrologic processes provides a foundation for effective water-resource and environmental planning and management. Observed changes in water budgets of an area over time can be used to assess the effects of climate variability and human activities on water resources. Comparison of water budgets from different areas allows the effects of factors such as geology, soils, vegetation, and land...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
INTRODUCTION Water budgets provide a means for evaluating availability and sustainability of a water supply. A water budget simply states that the rate of change in water stored in an area, such as a watershed, is balanced by the rate at which water flows into and out of the area. An understanding of water budgets and underlying hydrologic processes provides a foundation for effective water-resource and environmental planning and management. Observed changes in water budgets of an area over time can be used to assess the effects of climate variability and human activities on water resources. Comparison of water budgets from different areas allows the effects of factors such as geology, soils, vegetation, and land...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Pesticide leaching through variably thick soils beneath agricultural fields in Morgan Creek, Maryland was simulated for water years 1995 to 2004 using LEACHM (Leaching Estimation and Chemistry Model). Fifteen individual models were constructed to simulate five depths and three crop rotations with associated pesticide applications. Unsaturated zone thickness averaged 4.7 m but reached a maximum of 18.7 m. Average annual recharge to ground water decreased from 15.9 to 11.1 cm as the unsaturated zone increased in thickness from 1 to 10 m. These point estimates of recharge are at the lower end of previously published values, which used methods that integrate over larger areas capturing focused recharge in the numerous...
Millions of tons of agricultural fertilizer and pesticides are applied annually in the USA. Due to the potential for these chemicals to migrate to groundwater, a study was conducted in 2004 using field data to calculate water budgets, rates of groundwater recharge and times of water travel through the unsaturated zone and to identify factors that influence these phenomena. Precipitation was the only water input at sites in Indiana and Maryland; irrigation accounted for about 80% of total water input at sites in California and Washington. Recharge at the Indiana site (47.5 cm) and at the Maryland site (31.5 cm) were equivalent to 51 and 32%, respectively, of annual precipitation and occurred between growing seasons....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation