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Two-dimensional and three-dimensional digital flow models of the Salinas Valley ground-water basin, California

Glenn W. Kapple, John R. Freckleton, Timothy J. Durbin | November 16, 1978
Summary

The Salinas Valley is a topographic and ground-water basin in central coastal California. The ground-water basin extends from Monterey Bay south­eastward along the Salinas River to San Arda, a distance of 70 miles, and has a maximum thickness of 2,000 feet. Annual recharge to the ground-water basin, which is derived mostly from the Salinas River, is about 290,000 acre­feet. Annual discharge, which is mostly from pumpage but also includes the consumptive use of ground water by riparian vegetation along the Salinas River, is about 507,000 acre-feet. About 45 percent of the pumpage, or 217,000 acre-feet of water annually, returns to the ground-water system.

A group of interacting hydrologic models was developed for the Salinas Valley. These models include the small-stream model, river model, two­dimensional ground-water model, and three-dimensional ground-water model. The small-stream model simulates ground-water recharge from small streams that are tributary to the Salinas River. The river model simulates ground­water recharge from and surface-water discharge in the Salinas River. The two-dimensional and three-dimensional ground-water models simulate hydraulic head in the ground-water basin.

The ground-water models were calibrated by comparing water level com­puted by the models to the corresponding measured water level for both steady-state and transient-state simulations. For the steady-state simulation, which was used to calibrate transmissivity for the two-dimensional model and hydraulic conductivity for the three-dimensional model, the median deviation of the model-generated water level from measured water level was 6 and 5 feet for the two-dimensional and three-dimensional models, respectively. For the transient-state simulation, which was used to calibrate storage coefficient for the two-dimensional model and specific storage for the three-dimensional model, the median deviation of the model-generated water level (at the end of a 3-year calibration period) from measured water level was 6 feet for both models.

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Product Description

The Salinas Valley is a topographic and ground-water basin in central coastal California. The ground-water basin extends from Monterey Bay south­eastward along the Salinas River to San Arda, a distance of 70 miles, and has a maximum thickness of 2,000 feet. Annual recharge to the ground-water basin, which is derived mostly from the Salinas River, is about 290,000 acre­feet. Annual discharge, which is mostly from pumpage but also includes the consumptive use of ground water by riparian vegetation along the Salinas River, is about 507,000 acre-feet. About 45 percent of the pumpage, or 217,000 acre-feet of water annually, returns to the ground-water system.

A group of interacting hydrologic models was developed for the Salinas Valley. These models include the small-stream model, river model, two­dimensional ground-water model, and three-dimensional ground-water model. The small-stream model simulates ground-water recharge from small streams that are tributary to the Salinas River. The river model simulates ground­water recharge from and surface-water discharge in the Salinas River. The two-dimensional and three-dimensional ground-water models simulate hydraulic head in the ground-water basin.

The ground-water models were calibrated by comparing water level com­puted by the models to the corresponding measured water level for both steady-state and transient-state simulations. For the steady-state simulation, which was used to calibrate transmissivity for the two-dimensional model and hydraulic conductivity for the three-dimensional model, the median deviation of the model-generated water level from measured water level was 6 and 5 feet for the two-dimensional and three-dimensional models, respectively. For the transient-state simulation, which was used to calibrate storage coefficient for the two-dimensional model and specific storage for the three-dimensional model, the median deviation of the model-generated water level (at the end of a 3-year calibration period) from measured water level was 6 feet for both models.

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1978_WaterResourcesInvestigationsReport78-113

Keywords:

coastal aquifers, Groundwater Exchange, groundwater recharge, groundwater-surface water interaction, seawater intrusion