Methods for Evaluating Aquifer-System Parameters from a Cumulative Compaction Record
Vanhaitsma, Amanda Joy
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Although many efforts and strategies have been implemented to reduce over-pumping of aquifer-systems, land subsidence is still a serious issue worldwide. Accurate aquifer characterization is critical to understand the response of an aquifer-system to prolonged pumping but is often difficult and expensive to conduct. The purpose of this thesis is to determine the validity of estimating aquifer-system parameters from a single cumulative compaction record and corresponding nested water-level data deconvolved into temporal components. Over a decade of compaction and water-level data were collected from an extensometer and multi-level piezometer at the Lorenzi site in Las Vegas Valley and when graphed yearly, seasonal, and daily signals are observed. Each temporal signal reflects different characteristics of the aquifer-system, including the distinction between aquifer and aquitard parameters, as the three temporal stresses influence the compaction record uniquely. Maximum cross-correlation was used to determine the hydrodynamic lag between changing water-levels and subsidence within the seasonal signal while principal components analysis was used to statistically verify the presence of the three temporal signals. Assumptions had to be made but nearly all estimated Lorenzi site aquifer-system parameters fell either within the reasonable range or were similar in magnitude to parameter values estimated in previous studies. Unfortunately, principal components analysis was unable to detect the three temporal signals. A cumulative compaction record may be difficult to obtain but analyzing the precision measurements of an extensometer results in precise aquifer-system parameters and as the precision of aquifer-system parameters increase so does the ability to sustainably manage groundwater.
- Masters Theses