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Title: Potential Groundwater Recharge from the Infiltration of Surface Runoff in Cold and Dry Creeks, Phase 2

Abstract

Runoff from Cold and Dry Creeks may provide an important source of groundwater recharge on the Hanford Site. This report presents estimates of total volume and distribution of such recharge from extreme precipitation events. Estimates were derived using a simple approach that combined the Soil Conservation Service curve number runoff method and an exponential-decay channel infiltration model. Fifteen-minute streamflow data from four gaging stations, and hourly precipitation data from one climate station, were used to compute curve numbers and calibrate the infiltration model. All data were from several storms occurring during January 1995. Design storm precipitation depths ranging from 1.6 to 2.7 inches were applied with computed curve numbers to produce total runoff/recharge of 7,700 to 15,900 ac-ft, or approximately 10 times the average annual rate from this recharge source as determined in a previous study. Approximately two-thirds of the simulated recharge occurred in the lower stream reaches contained in the broad alluvial valley that parallels State Highway 240 near the Hanford 200 Area.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
877067
Report Number(s):
PNNL-15533
830403000; TRN: US0601587
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; HANFORD RESERVATION; GROUNDWATER RECHARGE; RUNOFF; STORMS; STREAMS

Citation Formats

Waichler, Scott R. Potential Groundwater Recharge from the Infiltration of Surface Runoff in Cold and Dry Creeks, Phase 2. United States: N. p., 2005. Web. doi:10.2172/877067.
Waichler, Scott R. Potential Groundwater Recharge from the Infiltration of Surface Runoff in Cold and Dry Creeks, Phase 2. United States. doi:10.2172/877067.
Waichler, Scott R. Tue . "Potential Groundwater Recharge from the Infiltration of Surface Runoff in Cold and Dry Creeks, Phase 2". United States. doi:10.2172/877067. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/877067.
@article{osti_877067,
title = {Potential Groundwater Recharge from the Infiltration of Surface Runoff in Cold and Dry Creeks, Phase 2},
author = {Waichler, Scott R.},
abstractNote = {Runoff from Cold and Dry Creeks may provide an important source of groundwater recharge on the Hanford Site. This report presents estimates of total volume and distribution of such recharge from extreme precipitation events. Estimates were derived using a simple approach that combined the Soil Conservation Service curve number runoff method and an exponential-decay channel infiltration model. Fifteen-minute streamflow data from four gaging stations, and hourly precipitation data from one climate station, were used to compute curve numbers and calibrate the infiltration model. All data were from several storms occurring during January 1995. Design storm precipitation depths ranging from 1.6 to 2.7 inches were applied with computed curve numbers to produce total runoff/recharge of 7,700 to 15,900 ac-ft, or approximately 10 times the average annual rate from this recharge source as determined in a previous study. Approximately two-thirds of the simulated recharge occurred in the lower stream reaches contained in the broad alluvial valley that parallels State Highway 240 near the Hanford 200 Area.},
doi = {10.2172/877067},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Dec 13 00:00:00 EST 2005},
month = {Tue Dec 13 00:00:00 EST 2005}
}

Technical Report:

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  • The volume of water available for groundwater recharge through the infiltration of surface runoff in Cold and Dry Creeks was estimated for a 100-year storm and the Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP) of Skaggs and Walters (1981). A 100-year, 7-day design storm was developed from 40 years of precipitation data measured at the Hanford Meteorological Station (HMS). Runoff measured in Upper Cold Creek was used with HMS precipitation data to calculate curve numbers for the Soil Conservation Service rainfall-runoff model. The estimated water available for recharge from surface runoff produced by the 100-year storm is 3-6 times the annual recharge ratemore » from direct infiltration of precipitation over the Hanford Site. Potential recharge from the PMP is 7-11 times the annual volume of direct recharge.« less
  • A laboratory system was fabricated to measure infiltration and runoff from spoil and soil profiles constructed in rectangular bins. Construction, calibration and operation of a rainfall simulator is discussed and instrumentation used to measure transient infiltration and transmittance of water through experimental profiles is described. Spoil and soil materials from surface mines in Eastern and Western Kentucky were transported to the laboratory and used in constructing experimental profiles in rectangular bins. An extensive series of infiltration experiments were conducted utilizing a rainfall simulator and soil moisture monitoring instrumentation.
  • Agricultural practices can have a significant impact on water quality. The effects of leguminous winter cover crops on leaching of nitrates from soil have been investigated in the project. Legume cover crops, by fixation of atmospheric N, can reduce the amount of fertilizer N required to produce summer grain crops. The methods initially used to evaluate cover crop effects on nitrate transport included suction probe lysimeters and measurement of nitrates in soil samples collected to a depth of 90 cm. These measurements demonstrated extreme spatial variability in nitrate distribution and water movement. Soil transformations of legume and fertilizer N sourcesmore » were compared using labelled amendments. Early measurements show greater nitrate leaching with legume N due to the mulch effect reducing evaporative water removal.« less
  • The objective was to evaluate the groundwater recharge rate on the Falkirk mining site in western North Dakota. Thornthwaite's water balance method was used. This method uses mean monthly temperatures to estimate potential evapotranspiration. Thornthwaite's method was judged to provide sufficiently accurate estimates of evapotranspiration to allow calculation of groundwater recharge rates given precipitation and runoff data. This judgment was made by comparing Thornthwaite's method with the more comprehensive treatments of Jensen and Haise and the modified Penman method. All methods showed potential evapotranspiration to be greater than mean monthly precipitation during the summer months.
  • This report presents the development and application of the distributed-parameter watershed model, INFILv3, for estimating the temporal and spatial distribution of net infiltration and potential recharge in the Death Valley region, Nevada and California. The estimates of net infiltration quantify the downward drainage of water across the lower boundary of the root zone and are used to indicate potential recharge under variable climate conditions and drainage basin characteristics. Spatial variability in recharge in the Death Valley region likely is high owing to large differences in precipitation, potential evapotranspiration, bedrock permeability, soil thickness, vegetation characteristics, and contributions to recharge along activemore » stream channels. The quantity and spatial distribution of recharge representing the effects of variable climatic conditions and drainage basin characteristics on recharge are needed to reduce uncertainty in modeling ground-water flow. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, developed a regional saturated-zone ground-water flow model of the Death Valley regional ground-water flow system to help evaluate the current hydrogeologic system and the potential effects of natural or human-induced changes. Although previous estimates of recharge have been made for most areas of the Death Valley region, including the area defined by the boundary of the Death Valley regional ground-water flow system, the uncertainty of these estimates is high, and the spatial and temporal variability of the recharge in these basins has not been quantified.« less