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.
R. G. Smith et al., "Estimating Aquifer System Storage Loss with Water Levels, Pumping and InSAR Data in the Parowan Valley, Utah," Water Resources Research, vol. 59, no. 4, article no. e2022WR034095, Wiley; American Geophysical Union, Apr 2023.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1029/2022WR034095
Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering
Keywords and Phrases
groundwater; groundwater management; groundwater storage; InSAR; sustainability
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Article - Journal
© 2023 Wiley; American Geophysical Union, All rights reserved.
01 Apr 2023