High Resolution Geophysical Surveys to Find Optimal Recharge Basin Sites

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1 ABSTRACT & POWERPOINT PRESENTATION High Resolution Geophysical Surveys to Find Optimal Recharge Basin Sites John Jansen, PhD, PGp Senior Managing Hydrologist Cardno ENTRIX Fort Meyers, Florida Managed Aquifer Recharge Symposium January 25-26, 2011 Irvine, California Symposium Organizers: National Water Research Institute Orange County Water District Water Research Foundation

2 High Resolution Geophysical Surveys to Find Optimal Recharge Basin Sites By John Jansen, Ph. D., P.Gp. Artificial recharge and water augmentation are important aspects of many groundwater management programs. The subsurface must be understood in reasonable detail to design an efficient and effective artificial recharge system. Often the cost to collect this data by drilling is prohibitively high. When properly applied, geophysical methods can provide subsurface information at a much lower cost. Geophysical data provides more complete coverage and can be used to target drilling efforts toward the most important areas. This presentation uses several recent projects to demonstrate the use of geophysical methods to select favorable sites and direct a testing program to develop artificial recharge projects. The grain size and permeability of typical valley fill sediments can vary significantly, both laterally and vertically, over relatively short distances. The cost of drilling through these sediments is high due to the depth of penetration required and difficult of drilling conditions. The number of borings that can be drilled in practical terms is considerably lower than the number that would be needed to adequately characterize the grain size distribution of a study area, particularly when the area to be screened is large. Less expensive means of gathering subsurface information are needed. Geophysical surveys can provide subsurface information of grain size for lower costs and with more complete coverage than is possible by test drilling. We have use two electrical geophysical methods to site recharge basins that are particularly well suited for this application. High resolution electrical resistivity surveys use a string of electrodes planted on the surface and a low power current source to measure the electrical conductivity of the subsurface. The method is capable of mapping the lateral and vertical grain size distribution of the upper 300 to 400 feet along profile lines several hundred feet to up to a few thousand feet long in a matter of hours. Three dimensional surveys can be used for areas with complex subsurface conditions. Time Domain Electromagnetic Induction (TEM) surveys use a loop of insulated wire on the surface to generate an electromagnetic pulse that penetrates into the subsurface. TEM surveys can measure the grain size distribution to below approximately 1,000 to 1,500 feet in about an hour. These methods can be used independently or jointly to screen large areas to find suitable recharge sites, identify buried perching layers, identify faults that could impact infiltration pathways, or map the progress of a wetting front during recharge. This presentation will present results from several geophysical surveys conducted to assist water districts find suitable recharge sites in southern California. The case histories will demonstrate how the high resolution electrical resistivity and TEM methods have been used to find areas with permeable sediments in the vadose and shallow saturated zones, identify perching layers, map faults, measure offsets of the water table across faults, and direct drilling programs to improve site characterization and obtain subsurface information in the most important areas.

3 High Resolution Geophysical Surveys to Find Optimal Recharge Basin Sites John Jansen, Ph.D,P.GP.

4 Oro Grande Wash Artificial Recharge Feasibility Study Victorville area experiencing significant drawdown in aquifer California Aqueduct flows through area Area looked like an obvious candidate for artificial recharge

5 Existing Boring Logs Suggested Coarse Grained Formations

6 Recharge Pilot Project Oro Grande Wash Pilot Recharge Project Test 1 (Sept. to Dec. 2002) - Test 2 (Jan. to May 2003) Test 3 (June to Sept. 2003) Feet/Day Infiltration Rate AF 490 AF 416 AF Days of Operation Weekly Infiltration Rate Test 1 Weekly Infiltration Rate Test 2 Weekley Infiltration Rate Test 3 Three recharge tests between Sept 2002 and Sept 2003 Recharged 1,336 AF ~3.25 ft/day avg Site could take water easily

7 2003 Deep Monitoring Well Clay at 280 ft Coarse grained soil to 280 feet Largely fine grained soil from 280 to bedrock at 1520 feet Called into question original conceptual model of 1500 foot sand box Indicated fine grained soils present that may complicate water storage

8 Mojave Water Agency, Oro Grande Wash, 2005 Geophysical Survey High resolution surface geophysical investigation Methods chosen for ability to image subsurface Electrical Resistivity Survey 9 profiles Coverage down 300 to 400 feet bgs Time-domain electromagnetic induction Survey 34 soundings Coverage down to ~ 1,000 feet bgs

9 Electrical Resistivity Theory Electrical Current is induced into the ground through two current electrodes. Voltage drop is measured across potential electrodes. Electrode array is expanded to increase depth. Measured in ohm-meters Modern systems use 48 to 56 (or more) electrodes with automated switching system

10 Resistivity Profiles In Wash Profiles looking north to south down wash Grain size gets coarser to south toward head of wash Shallow soils north of aqueduct siltier Areas of shallow silty soils identified Areas with coarse grained soils at the surface identified Some indication of finer grained soils at depth

11 Resistivity Profiles Across Wash Profiles looking northwest to southeast crossing the wash Coarse grained unit thickens to southeast Finer grained soils at surface thicken out of wash

12 Physical Principles of TEM Soundings Square transmitter loop of 50 to 100 meters on a side laid out on surface Current of several amps cut off nearly instantaneously Creates broad frequency EM pulse Nearly vertical propagation of pulse induces eddy currents in conductive units Receiver measures magnetic field from eddy current over time Data is modeled into layered system

13 TEM Modeled Soundings Typical TEM soundings from survey Modeled as 1d soundings Correlated as cross-sections 1,000 to 1,500 foot penetration Good data quality Typically three geoelectric layers

14 TEM Profiles

15 TEM Data looks deeper Looking east to west across wash Profiles move from north to south crossing fan deposits Fan deposits get coarser to south Consistent low resistivity clay layer beneath fan deposits

16 Mapping Top of Clay and Grain Size of Fan Deposits

17 TEM Survey Mapped Clay Layer at Depth Log of ADW3 Drilled in 2006 ADW 3At TEM37 Predicted about 550 ft to clay Top of clay At 524 feet This result was quite good, typically more like +/- 10%

18 Recharge Basin Currently Under Construction Site just northeast of survey area for various other reasons Geophysics helped understand subsurface conditions of area

19 Ames, Means and Johnson Valleys Artificial Recharge Feasibility Study 15 resistivity soundings and 35 TEM soundings Mapping faults and distribution of grain size to bedrock Supporting a Basin Conceptual Model by KJT

20 Faults and Depth to Water Stood Out Faults show up as resistive anomalies due to paradox of anisotropy Water table shows up as drop in resistivity

21 Mapped the Homestead Fault and a fault at the Inferred Pipes Barrier

22 Resistivity Data Refined Regional Fault Interpretation Inferred Pipes Barrier appears to have fault splay Homestead Valley Fault appears to have splay Additional fault splays off Johnson Valley Fault

23 TEM Soundings Used to Construct Cross-Sections

24 TEM Profiles Showed Structurally Complex Area From Todd Engineers

25 Proposed Recharge Basin Location Resistivity pinned down Pipes Inferred Barrier as splayed faults TEM put basin in coarser grained area

26 Conclusions Successfully used Surface Geophysical Investigation To give us a noisy snap shot of subsurface Quickly map the general grain size distribution within and around Oro Grande Wash and mapped faults in the Ames/Means/Johnson Valleys Enabled us to cover a lot of ground End of day debriefings allowed us to modify the investigation as it progressed More cost effective than drilling test holes Electrical methods can image subsurface Can map geology and wetting front Gravity can independently map change in water storage but does not image subsurface as well

27 Questions? Electrical Resistivity Survey Time Domain Electromagnetic Induction Survey

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