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Groundwater prospecting using a multi-technique framework in the lower Casas Grandes Basin, Chihuahua, México

April 25, 2023
Groundwater is a strategic resource for economic development, social justice, environmental sustainability, and water governance. The lower Casas Grandes River Basin, located in the state of Chihuahua, México, is in a semi-arid region with increasing groundwater demand and regional challenges such as drought and depletion of aquifers. Even though there is official information about the availability of groundwater, a comprehensive aquifer characterization requiring an interdisciplinary investigation using a diverse suite of tools and multiple data sources has yet to be carried out. This study presents a multi-technique framework to evaluate potential sites to drill for groundwater resources and reduce the risk of unsuccessful drilling. The main components of the methodology include wellhead leveling correction with a differential global positioning survey to define piezometric levels, principal component analysis using LANDSAT-8 images, application of geospatial tools, geophysics analysis using time domain electromagnetic surveys (TDES) and vertical electric soundings (VES), and structural geohydrology to define aquifer characteristics. The results showed that using the proposed framework steps improved the possibility of identifying subsurface layers with lower resistivity values that could be related to groundwater. Low resistivity values (35 Ohm-m) were found at depths from 50 to 85 m at sites where the regional static water level reached a depth of 245 m, indicating the potential location of a shallow groundwater resource at a site where the intersection of a fracture trace was identified. This procedure can be used in other regions in the world where limited information is available for groundwater exploration, thus reducing the risk of drilling dry wells in complex hydrogeological environments.
Publication Year 2023
Title Groundwater prospecting using a multi-technique framework in the lower Casas Grandes Basin, Chihuahua, México
DOI 10.3390/w15091673
Authors Alfredo Granados Olivas, Ezequiel Rascon-Mendoza, Francisco J. Gómez-Domínguez, Carlo I. Romero-Gameros, Andrew J. Robertson, Luis C. Bravo-Peña, Ali Mirchi, Ana C. Garcia-Vazquez, Alexander Fernald, John W. Hawley, Luis Alfonso Gandara-Ruiz, Luis C. Alatorre-Cejudo, Maryam Samimi, Felipe A. Vazquez-Galvez, Adan Pinales-Munguia, Oscar F. Ibañez-Hernandez, Josiah M. Heyman, Alex Mayer, William L. Hargrove
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Water
Index ID 70243014
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization New Mexico Water Science Center