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Groundwater elevation data and models in and around select California oil fields

July 25, 2023

This data release contains groundwater elevation data and the associated model/code used to create groundwater elevation surfaces in and around select oil fields in California. The data and model provided here are intended to supplement interpretative manuscripts. Specific study areas will be added as Child Items found in this data release. Groundwater elevations are usually collected from individual wells at discrete times. However, we are often interested in looking at a continuous surface of groundwater levels for a variety of reasons including to examine potential gradients, or directions of groundwater flow. Therefore, we created continuous space-time models of groundwater elevations using a Gaussian process. These datasets have two distinct data types, 1) groundwater elevations measured in water wells obtained from the California Department of Water Resources and the California State Water Resources Control Board's GeoTracker, and 2) elevations of the water table interpreted from oil and gas geophysical well logs. Using both data types provide unique spatial and temporal data coverage in and around oil fields in California. Modeling both data types together allow us to examine lateral gradients between oil fields and adjacent groundwater basins. We can also estimate potential vertical gradients by comparing the modeled water table to fluid levels derived from idle oil and gas wells perforated in deeper hydrocarbon reservoirs. The data compiled and analyzed here are part of the California State Water Resources Control Board Oil and Gas Regional Monitoring Program and the U.S. Geological Survey California Oil, Gas, and Groundwater (COGG) Program.

Publication Year 2023
Title Groundwater elevation data and models in and around select California oil fields
DOI 10.5066/P9E5MTAM
Authors Michael J Stephens, Will Chang, Janice M Gillespie, Peter B McMahon, Tracy Davis
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Sacramento Projects Office (USGS California Water Science Center)