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Geohydrology of a deep-aquifer system monitoring-well site at Marina, Monterey County, California

October 1, 2002

In 2000, a deep-aquifer system monitoring-well site (DMW1) was completed at Marina, California to provide basic geologic and hydrologic information about the deep-aquifer system in the coastal region of the Salinas Valley. The monitoring-well site contains four wells in a single borehole; one completed from 930 to 950 feet below land surface (bls) in the Paso Robles Formation (DMW1-4); one 1,040 to 1,060 feet below land surface in the upper Purisima Formation (DMW1-3); one from 1,410 to 1,430 feet below land surface in the middle Purisima Formation (DMW1-2); and one from 1,820 to 1,860 feet below land surface in the lower Purisima Formation (DMW1-1). The monitoring site is installed between the coast and several deep-aquifer system supply wells in the Marina Coast Water District, and the completion depths are within the zones screened in those supply wells. Sediments below a depth of 955 feet at DMW1 are Pliocene age, whereas the sediments encountered at the water-supply wells are Pleistocene age at an equivalent depth. Water levels are below sea level in DMW1 and the Marina Water District deep-aquifer system supply wells, which indicate that the potential for seawater intrusion exists in the deep-aquifer system. If the aquifers at DMW1 are hydraulically connected with the submarine outcrops in Monterey Bay, then the water levels at the DMW1 site are 8 to 27 feet below the level necessary to prevent seawater intrusion. Numerous thick fine-grained interbeds and confining units in the aquifer systems retard the vertical movement of fresh and saline ground water between aquifers and restrict the movement of seawater to narrow water-bearing zones in the upper-aquifer system.Hydraulic testing of the DMW1 and the Marina Water District supply wells indicates that the tested zones within the deep-aquifer system are transmissive water-bearing units with hydraulic conductivities ranging from 2 to 14.5 feet per day. The hydraulic properties of the supply wells and monitoring wells are similar, even though the wells are completed in different geologic formations.Geophysical logs collected at the DMW1 site indicate saline water in most water-bearing zones shallower than 720 feet below land surface and from about 1,025 to 1,130 feet below land surface, and indicate fresher water from about 910 to 950 feet below land surface (DMW1-4), 1,130 to 1,550 feet below land surface, and below 1,650 feet below land surface. Temporal differences between electromagnetic induction logs indicate possible seasonal seawater intrusion in five water-bearing zones from 350 to 675 feet below land surface in the upper-aquifer system.The water-chemistry analyses from the deep-aquifer system monitoring and supply wells indicate that these deep aquifers in the Marina area contain potable water with the exception of the saline water in well DMW1-3. The saline water from well DMW1-3 has a chloride concentration of 10,800 milligrams per liter and dissolved solids concentration of 23,800 milligrams per liter. The source of this water was determined not to be recent seawater based on geochemical indicators and the age of the ground water. The high salinity of this ground water may be related to the dissolution of salts from the saline marine clays that surround the water-bearing zone screened by DMW1-3. The major ion water chemistry of the monitoring wells and the nearby MCWD water-supply wells are similar, which may indicate they are in hydraulic connection, even though the stratigraphic layers differ below 955 feet below land surface.No tritium was detected in samples from the deep monitoring wells. The lack of tritium suggest that there is no recent recharge water (less than 50 years old) in the deep-aquifer system at the DMW1 site. The carbon-14 analyses of these samples indicate ground water from the monitoring site was recharged thousands of years ago.

Publication Year 2002
Title Geohydrology of a deep-aquifer system monitoring-well site at Marina, Monterey County, California
DOI 10.3133/wri024003
Authors Randall T. Hanson, Rhett R. Everett, Mark W. Newhouse, Steven M. Crawford, M. Isabel Pimentel, Gregory A. Smith
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series Number 2002-4003
Index ID wri024003
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse