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Title: Data measured on water collected from eastern Mojave Desert, California

Abstract

In March of 2000 field collection of water from the Eastern Mojave Desert resulted in the measurement of stable isotope, radiocarbon, tritium, and limited dissolved noble gases. This work was follow-on to previous studies on similar systems in southern Nevada associated with the Nevada Test Site (Davisson et al., 1999; Rose and Davisson, 2003). The data for groundwater from wells and springs was never formally published and is therefore tabulated in Table 1 in order to be recorded in public record. In addition 4 years of remote precipitation data was collected for stable isotopes and is included in Table 2. These studies, along with many parallel and subsequent ones using isotopes and elemental concentrations, are all related to the general research area of tracing sources and quantifying transport times of natural and man-made materials in the environment. This type of research has direct relevance in characterizing environmental contamination, understanding resource development and protection, designing early detection in WMD related terrorism, and application in forensics analysis.

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1389983
Report Number(s):
LLNL-TR-737159
DOE Contract Number:
AC52-07NA27344
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
45 MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, WEAPONRY, AND NATIONAL DEFENSE; 58 GEOSCIENCES; 07 ISOTOPES AND RADIATION SOURCES

Citation Formats

Rose, Tim P. Data measured on water collected from eastern Mojave Desert, California. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1389983.
Rose, Tim P. Data measured on water collected from eastern Mojave Desert, California. United States. doi:10.2172/1389983.
Rose, Tim P. 2017. "Data measured on water collected from eastern Mojave Desert, California". United States. doi:10.2172/1389983. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1389983.
@article{osti_1389983,
title = {Data measured on water collected from eastern Mojave Desert, California},
author = {Rose, Tim P.},
abstractNote = {In March of 2000 field collection of water from the Eastern Mojave Desert resulted in the measurement of stable isotope, radiocarbon, tritium, and limited dissolved noble gases. This work was follow-on to previous studies on similar systems in southern Nevada associated with the Nevada Test Site (Davisson et al., 1999; Rose and Davisson, 2003). The data for groundwater from wells and springs was never formally published and is therefore tabulated in Table 1 in order to be recorded in public record. In addition 4 years of remote precipitation data was collected for stable isotopes and is included in Table 2. These studies, along with many parallel and subsequent ones using isotopes and elemental concentrations, are all related to the general research area of tracing sources and quantifying transport times of natural and man-made materials in the environment. This type of research has direct relevance in characterizing environmental contamination, understanding resource development and protection, designing early detection in WMD related terrorism, and application in forensics analysis.},
doi = {10.2172/1389983},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month = 8
}

Technical Report:

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  • Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of southern California and Cadiz Inc. investigated the feasibility of storing Colorado River water in groundwater aquifers of the eastern Mojave Desert as a future drought mitigation strategy. This culminated in the public release of the Cadiz Groundwater Storage and Dry-Year Supply program Draft EIR, which included pilot percolation studies, groundwater modeling, and precipitation/runoff analysis in the Fenner groundwater basin, which overlies the proposed storage site. The project proposes to store and withdrawal Colorado River water over a 50-year period, but will not exceed the natural replenishment rates of the groundwater basin. Several independent analyses weremore » conducted to estimate the rates of natural groundwater replenishment to the Fenner Groundwater Basin which was included in the Draft EIR. The US Geologic Survey, Water Resources Division (WRD) officially submitted comments during public review and concluded that the natural groundwater replenishment rates calculated for the Draft EIR were too high. In the WRD review, they provided a much lower recharge calculation based on a Maxey-Eakin estimation approach. This approach estimates annual precipitation over an entire basin as a function of elevation, followed by calibration against annual recharge rates. Previous attempts to create precipitation-elevation functions in western Nevada have been difficult and result in large uncertainty. In the WRD data analysis, the effect of geographic scale on the precipitation-elevation function was overlooked. This contributed to an erroneous Maxey-Eakin recharge estimate.« less
  • Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of southern California and Cadiz Inc. investigated the feasibility of storing Colorado River water in groundwater aquifers of the eastern Mojave Desert as a future drought mitigation strategy. This culminated in the public release of the Cadiz Groundwater Storage and Dry-Year Supply program Draft EIR, which included pilot percolation studies, groundwater modeling, and precipitation/runoff analysis in the Fenner groundwater basin, which overlies the proposed storage site. The project proposes to store and withdrawal Colorado River water over a 50-year period, but will not exceed the natural replenishment rates of the groundwater basin. Several independent analyses weremore » conducted to estimate the rates of natural groundwater replenishment to the Fenner Groundwater Basin, which was included in the Draft EIR. The US Geologic Survey, Water Resources Division (WRD) officially submitted comments during public review and concluded that the natural groundwater replenishment rates calculated for the Draft EIR were too high. In the WRD review, they provided a much lower recharge calculation based on a Maxey-Eakin estimation approach. This approach estimates annual precipitation over an entire basin as a function of elevation, followed by calibration against annual recharge rates. Recharge rates are estimated on the basis that some fraction of annual precipitation will recharge, and that fraction will increase with increasing elevation. This results in a hypothetical curve relating annual groundwater recharge to annual precipitation. Field validation of recharge rates is critical in order to establish credibility to any estimate. This is due to the fact that the Maxey-Eakin model is empirical. An empirical model is derived from practical experience rather than basic theory. Therefore, a validated Maxey-Eakin model in one groundwater basin does not translate to a different one. In the WRD's Maxey-Eakin model, they used a curve calibrated against three locations in western Nevada and applied it to the Fenner Basin. It is of particular importance to note that all three of the WRD's location are west of longitude 116{sup o}W, where annual precipitation is significantly lower. Therefore, The WRD's Maxey-Eakin curve was calibrated to a drier climate, and its application to the Fenner Basin lacks credibility.« less
  • Stable isotopes of oxygen (oxygen-18) and hydrogen (deuterium) in water were measured to determine recharge sources for Fenner Basin groundwater. The deuterium and oxygen-18 signatures (reported as {delta}D and {delta}{sup 18}O values) ranged from -11.9 to -9.3 per mil. The more negative values originate from high elevation recharge in the New York Mountains and were also observed in the northern and eastern parts of the groundwater basin. less negative values were observed in the Providence Mountains along the western part of the basin. Groundwater collected in the Fenner Gap (i.e. Project Area) had signatures between -10.6 and -10.9 per mil,more » suggesting a mixture of recharge from both northern, western, and probably local recharge areas in the basin. The annual contribution of groundwater recharge to Fenner Gap from the Clipper, Marble, and Old Woman mountains is still inconclusive due to lack of isotopic data. Isotopic signatures of mean annual precipitation collected by Friendman and others (1992) at Mitchell Caverns, as well as recently recharged groundwater in the Providence and New York mountains, are similar to the isotopic values in Fenner Gap groundwater. This indicates that this groundwater has a Holocene age (less than 10,000 years old), since groundwater recharged during the Pleistocene had isotopic signatures significantly more negative than today due to past global cooling.« less