Geophysical applications to the development of a groundwater model of Washoe Valley, Nevada
AuthorPetersen, Ronald Clayton
Geological Sciences & Engineering
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Gravity, ground magnetic, and terrain conductivity surveys were run in Washoe Valley to define subsurface lithology for input to a groundwater model. The gravity results map basin configuration, with a shallower basement on the east indicated. High magnetic and terrain conductivity values reflect a volcanic unit overlying this shallow eastern basement, which is in turn overlain by electrically conductive fine-grained sediments. Together, these units suggest much lower transmissivities on the east side of the valley, relative to a thicker section of coarse-grained sediments to the west. These low transmissivities are required by the groundwater model to fit the 1965 potentiometric surface to which the model is calibrated. This study demonstrates the utility of combining the results of multiple geophysical surveys with conventional hydrological parameters. This integration is particularly useful for mapping spatial distributions of interbasin hydraulic properties, and it provides excellent constraints the groundwater model.
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