The groundwater basin underlying the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.
The study focuses on changes in groundwater storage and how those changes relate to groundwater-level changes. Groundwater storage change was measured using repeat microgravity at 35 stations from 2016 to 2021. Usually, storage is monitored by converting groundwater-level changes to storage changes using the aquifer storage coefficient, a difficult property to measure. With gravity, storage change can be measured directly. The storage coefficient, or specific yield in an unconfined aquifer, was estimated using the gravity method at individual sites, and a map created showing how this property varies over the region.
New Hydrological Insights for the Region
For the first time, a map of specific yield was produced based on interpolated maps of gravity-derived storage change and groundwater-level change, allowing inference of this property over a broad region even without collocated monitoring wells and gravity stations. Gravity data indicate aquifer drawdown and recovery mainly occurs in the central part of the basin where pumping is greatest. This spatial distribution is not captured by the more widely spaced monitoring well network. Because the aquifer is recovering from historically greater-magnitude pumping, net-neutral storage change (inflow=outflow) occurs when pumping from the central part of the well field is about 1.54 × 107 cubic meters (12,500 acre-feet) per year.
|Title||Measuring basin-scale aquifer storage change and mapping specific yield in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, with repeat microgravity data|
|Authors||Jeffrey Kennedy, Meghan T. Bell|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Arizona Water Science Center; New Mexico Water Science Center|