A digital crust to advance continental‐scale modeling of subsurface fluid flow in climate, crustal process, and Earth system models

Science Center Objects

Fluid circulation in the Earth’s crust plays an essential role in surface, near surface, and crustal dynamics. Near the surface, soil water and groundwater interact with each other and with rivers, lakes and wetlands, affecting weathering, soil formation, ecosystem evolution and biogeochemical cycles. Further down (1km), fluid flow affects diagenesis, hydrocarbon maturation and migration, ore d...

Fluid circulation in the Earth’s crust plays an essential role in surface, near surface, and crustal dynamics. Near the surface, soil water and groundwater interact with each other and with rivers, lakes and wetlands, affecting weathering, soil formation, ecosystem evolution and biogeochemical cycles. Further down (1km), fluid flow affects diagenesis, hydrocarbon maturation and migration, ore deposits, faulting and earthquakes, and geothermal resources. The myriad flow pathways are driven by hydraulic gradients but controlled by the permeability of the crust material. To date, a large‐scale dataset of crustal permeability does not exist, inhibiting the understanding of large‐scale processes and the integration of groundwater into climate and Earth system models at regional to continental scales. We propose a working group to develop a long‐term vision of a digital representation of the continental crust of North America and a prototype data model over selected regions. Through two workshops and web meetings over two years, the working group will (1) define the scientific objectives to be met by this data system, (2) define the desired domain, resolution and data structure, (3) develop an inventory of existing data collected and maintained by the USGS, State Surveys and community initiatives, and (4) complete a prototype project over selected regions, such as the Ogallala or the coastal plains, that can be achieved within project resources. The computing and data management resources of the Powell Center will be critical to the success of the prototype. Co‐leading this effort will be academic researchers and USGS scientists and data experts. The end products are a long‐term vision paper, a publishable prototype data model, and a plan for expanding the effort to the whole continental.



 

Principal Investigator(s):

Ying Fan Reinfelder (Rutgers University)

Participant(s):

Betty M Adrian (USGS Data Preservation, Informatics, and Laboratories Program Office)

Sky Bristol (USGS Applied Earth Systems Informatics Research)

Michael N Fienen (USGS Wisconsin Water Science Center)

Steven E Ingebritsen (USGS Branch of Regional Research, Western Region)

David M Wolock (USGS National Water Quality Assessment Program)

Steve Richard (Arizona Geological Survey)

Norman Jones (Brigham Young University)

Larry Murdoch (Clemson University)

Aaron Packman (Northwestern University)

Jennifer Arrigo (Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc.)

Rick Hooper (Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc.)

Ilya Zaslavsky (San Diego Supercomputer Center)





Publications: