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Electrical Resistivity Tomography in the Anza-Terwilliger Valley, Riverside County, California 2018

April 3, 2020

The Cahuilla Valley and Terwilliger Valley groundwater basins, 9-006 and 7-026 respectively (California Department of Water Resources 2016) located approximately 25 miles southwest of Palm Springs, are the sole-source for groundwater supply for the rural disadvantaged community and two Native American Tribes, the Ramona Band of Cahuilla and the Cahuilla,. The characteristics and sustainable yield of the Cahuilla Valley and Terwilliger Valley groundwater basins are not well understood and are threatened by increasing water use and potential changes in water sustainability related to climate change. Previous USGS studies of the Cahuilla-Terwilliger Valley groundwater basins defined the thicknesses and characteristics of the alluvial sediments that constitute the main water-bearing unit of the aquifer system and identified where wells completed in the underlying fractured bedrock are located (Moyle, 1976; Landon and others, 2015; Woolfenden and Bright, 1988). However, although the fractured bedrock is an important part of the aquifer system for domestic and some irrigation supply, the thickness and hydraulic characteristics of the fractured bedrock are not well understood (Landon and others, 2015; Moyle 1976). Existing gravity data identified a possible conduit for groundwater flow beneath Cahuilla Creek in the Cahuilla and Durasno Valleys (Landon and others, 2015). Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) data was collected in August 2018 to evaluate the cross-sectional depth to bedrock underlying a narrow section of Durasno Valley, and to help select locations for groundwater monitoring wells. Data from two transects were collected perpendicular to Cahuilla Creek, and offset by approximately 600 meters (m). California Department of Water Resources, California's groundwater-Working toward sustainability: California Department of Water Resources Bulletin 118 Interim Update, 2016, https://water.ca.gov/LegacyFiles/groundwater/bulletin118/docs/Bulletin_… Moyle Jr., W.R., Geohydrology of the Anza-Terwilliger area, Riverside County, California: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 76-10, https://doi.org/10.3133/wri7610 Landon, M.K., Morita, A.Y., Nawikas, J.M., Christensen, A.H., Faunt, C.C., and Langenheim, V.E., 2015, Aquifer geometry, lithology, and water levels in the Anza-Terwilliger Area - 2013, Riverside and San Diego Counties, California: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015-5131, 30 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20155131. Woolfenden, L.R., and Bright, D.J., Ground-water conditions in the Anza-Terwilliger area, with emphasis on the Cahuilla Indian Reservation, Riverside County, California, 1973-86: U.S. Gelogical Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 88-4029, https://doi.org/10.3133/wri884029