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Hydrogeologic facies characterization of an alluvial fan near Fresno, California, using geophysical techniques

September 1, 1997

DBCP (1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane) contamination in the sole source aquifer near Fresno, California, has significantly affected drinking-water supplies. Borehole and surface geophysical data were integrated with borehole textural data to characterize the Kings River alluvial fan sediments and to provide a framework for computer modeling of pesticide transport in ground water. Primary hydrogeologic facies units, such as gravel, coarse sand or gravel, fine sand, and silt and clay, were identified in cores collected from three borings located on a 4.6-kilometer transect of multilevel monitoring wells. Borehole geophysical logs collected from seven wells and surface geophysical surveys were used to extrapolate hydrogeologic facies to depths of about 82meters and to correlate the facies units with neighboring drilling sites. Thickness ranged from 0.3to 13 meters for sand and gravel units, and from 0.3 to 17 meters for silt and clay. The lateral extent of distinct silt and clay layers was mapped using shallow seismic reflection and ground-penetrating radar techniques. About 3.6 kilometers of seismic reflection data were collected; at least three distinct fine-grained layers were mapped. The depth of investigation of the seismic survey ranged from 34 to 107 meters below land surface, and vertical resolution was about 3.5 meters. The ground-penetrating radar survey covered 3.6kilometers and imaged a 1.5-meters thick, continuous fine-grained layer located at a depth of about 8 meters. Integrated results from the borehole sediment descriptions and geophysical surveys provided a detailed characterization over a larger areal extent than traditional hydrogeologic methods alone.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1997
Title Hydrogeologic facies characterization of an alluvial fan near Fresno, California, using geophysical techniques
DOI 10.3133/ofr9746
Authors Karen R. Burow, G.S. Weissmann, R. D. Miller, Gary Placzek
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 97-46
Index ID ofr9746
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse