Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Hydraulic, geochemical, and thermal monitoring of an aquifer system in the vicinity of Mammoth Lakes, Mono County, California, 2015–17

June 27, 2019

Since 2014, the U.S. Geological Survey has been working in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management, Mono County, Ormat Technologies, Inc., and the Mammoth Community Water District to design and implement a groundwater-monitoring program for the proposed Casa Diablo IV Geothermal Power Project in Long Valley Caldera, California, to characterize baseline groundwater-level, water-temperature, and water-chemistry conditions at dedicated monitoring wells and municipal supply wells. The publicly available data and the analyses provided here represent quality-assured and peer-reviewed information to help with the management of the thermal and non-thermal water resources beneath and in the vicinity of the town of Mammoth Lakes, California.

The methods of data collection for continuous water levels and quarterly water-temperature profiles for two 600-foot-deep monitoring wells during 2016 through 2017 are discussed. Also discussed are the methods of water-sample collection and characterizations of the water chemistry in numerous wells in the multilayered aquifer system beneath Mammoth Lakes. Additionally, the methodology used to develop digital (mathematical) filters to remove or reduce the effects of barometric pressure and solid Earth tides on the continuous water-level records is discussed.

Digitally filtered water levels for a 2017 flow test of a deep geothermal production well are described, and various aquifer responses observed during the flow test are discussed. These are further considered in a companion evaluation of potential physical and chemical influences on the water-level data collected during the flow test.

The digitally filtered water-level data indicated that some hydraulic communication exists between the deep geothermal aquifer and shallow groundwater aquifer at the location of the flow test, northeast of Mammoth Lakes. Groundwater-chemistry data from three wells indicated that shallow groundwater naturally mixes with a small component of geothermal water along the northern periphery of the shallow aquifer system at Mammoth Lakes.

Publication Year 2019
Title Hydraulic, geochemical, and thermal monitoring of an aquifer system in the vicinity of Mammoth Lakes, Mono County, California, 2015–17
DOI 10.3133/ofr20191063
Authors James F. Howle, William C. Evans, Devin L. Galloway, Paul A. Hsieh, Shaul Hurwitz, Gregory A. Smith, Joseph Nawikas
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2019-1063
Index ID ofr20191063
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization California Water Science Center