Report Abstract

Estimate of Hydraulic Characteristics in the Santa Fe Group Aquifer System Using Computer Simulations of River and Drain Pulses in the Rio Bravo Study Area, near Albuquerque, New Mexico

by D. Michael Roark

In 1997, the U.S. Geological Survey conducted a hydrologic investigation of the surface-water/ground-water interaction of the Rio Grande and the surrounding alluvium and the Santa Fe Group aquifer system in an area near the Rio Bravo Bridge, south of Albu- querque, New Mexico. A set of existing wells and new wells were instrumented to monitor water levels in a section perpendicular to the Rio Grande on the east side of the river. Equipment to measure stream stage was installed at two sites--on the Albuquerque Riverside Drain and on the Rio Grande. A short-duration river pulse and a long-duration river pulse were used to stress the ground-water system while the changes in water levels were monitored. A ground- water flow-model simulation using the principle of superposition was used to estimate the hydraulic characteristics of the local ground-water system. Simulated horizontal hydraulic conductivities varied from 0.03 to 100 feet per day, and vertical hydraulic conductivities varied from 1.5 x 10-6 to 0.01 foot per day. The specific yield of layer 1 was estimated to be 0.3. Specific storage for layers 2 through 11 was 1.0 x 10-6. Water entering the model from the river along a 300-foot-wide cross section during simulation of the short-duration pulse averaged 7.46 x 10-3 cubic foot per second and during the long-duration pulse was 1.66 x 10-3 cubic foot per second. The average flux from the model to the drain during the short-duration pulse was 3.18 x 10-3 cubic foot per second. The average flux for the long-duration pulse was 7.14 x 10-3 cubic foot per second from the drain to the model.

Abstract from Water-Resources Investigations Report 01-4069


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