In the Parowan Valley of Utah, Groundwater Levels Have Declined by as Much as 30 M over the Past 50 Years with Accompanying Subsidence Rates of Up to 5 Cm/year. Traditional Methods to Estimate Groundwater Storage Change Use a Combination of Groundwater Level and Storativity Estimates, But There is Often Considerable Uncertainty in These. in This Study, We Demonstrate a New Method that Relies on a Combination of Geodetic Data from InSAR, as Well as Groundwater Level and Pumping Data, to Estimate Both the Total Groundwater Storage Loss and the Percentages of Storage Loss in Fine- and Coarse-Grained Layers within an Aquifer System. We Find that When Aggregated over All of Parowan Valley, Fine- and Coarse-Grained Layers Account for Roughly Equal Portions of the Total Groundwater Storage Loss. However, in Confined Aquifers, Fine-Grained Layers Account for Most of the Storage Loss. This Has Important Implications on the Source of Groundwater in Depleting Aquifer Systems, as Many Models Do Not Account for Fine-Grained Layers as a Source of Water. We Find that in the Parowan Valley, the Aquifer Depletion is Roughly 12.5% of the Volume of Pumped Groundwater, Meaning that the Remainder of Pumped Groundwater is Sourced from Net Inflow. This Study Presents the First Method that Combines Geodetic and in Situ Groundwater Data to Provide Estimates of Groundwater Storage Change that Account for Both Coarse- and Fine-Grained Intervals, Which Are Typically Present in Significant Amounts in the Major Unconsolidated Aquifer Systems of the World.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Publication Status

Open Access


National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Grant 80NSSC21K0979

Keywords and Phrases

groundwater; groundwater management; groundwater storage; InSAR; sustainability

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1944-7973; 0043-1397

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2023 Wiley; American Geophysical Union, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Apr 2023