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Heat as a ground water tracer at the Russian River RBF facility, Sonoma County, California

January 1, 2006

Temperature is routinely collected as a water quality parameter, but only recently utilized as an environmental tracer of stream exchanges with ground water (Stonestrom and Constantz, 2003). In this paper, water levels and seasonal temperatures were used to estimate streambed hydraulic conductivities and water fluxes. Temperatures and water levels were analyzed from 3 observation wells near the Russian River RBF facility, north of Forestville, Sonoma County, CA. In addition, 9 shallow piezometers were installed in 3 cross-sections across the stream near a pair of collector wells at the RBF facility. Hydraulic conductivities and fluxes were estimated by matching simulated ground-water temperatures to the observed ground-water temperatures with an inverse modeling approach. Using temperature measurements in the shallow piezometers from 0.1 to 1.0 m below the channel, estimates of infiltration indicated a distinct area of streambed clogging near one of the RBF collector wells. For the deeper observation wells, temperature probes were located at depths between 3.5 m to 7.1 m below the channel. Estimated conductivities varied over an order of magnitude, with anisotropies of 5 (horizontal to vertical hydraulic conductivity) generally providing the best fit to observed temperatures.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2006
Title Heat as a ground water tracer at the Russian River RBF facility, Sonoma County, California
DOI 10.1007/978-1-4020-3938-6_11
Authors Jim Constantz, Grace W. Su, Christine Hatch
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Series Title
Series Number
Index ID 70199130
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Toxic Substances Hydrology Program