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Colorado School of Mines (2018)

Spatio-temporal assessment of groundwater resources in the Denver Basin Aquifer System

Ruybal, Christopher J.

Titre : Spatio-temporal assessment of groundwater resources in the Denver Basin Aquifer System

Auteur : Ruybal, Christopher J.

Université de soutenance : Colorado School of Mines

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) 2018

Résumé
Groundwater is an important resource in the Unites States and provides about 40% of the country’s public water supply. Withdrawals have dramatically increased in many aquifers, leading to groundwater depletion and questions about future sustainability. In Colorado, the long-term sustainability of the Denver Basin Aquifer System is considered by some as questionable and insufficient to support future demands. Groundwater depletion has been widely documented over the past several decades as groundwater withdrawals have increased and competition for water further stresses supplies. Groundwater monitoring is fundamental to understanding system dynamics, trends in storage, and the long-term sustainability of an aquifer. However, groundwater level data are typically spatially and temporally sparse relative to the data density desired for aquifer-scale analysis. The problems with missing temporal data from water wells in particular has not been addressed in much detail, yet can cause important misinterpretation with regard to groundwater sustainability. This research aims to mitigate some of the problems with current approaches to analyzing water well data by incorporating a new method of spatial-temporal analysis, with particular emphasis on addressing missing temporal data. In addition, we evaluate the ability of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites to improve the temporal sustainability analysis. The methodology is first illustrated using a case study in the Arapahoe Aquifer and is then expanded to all aquifers of the Denver Basin Aquifer System. Remote sensing is utilized from GRACE to provide another perspective on determining groundwater storage changes. Results from this dissertation provide a framework for monitoring and management of groundwater resources along the Colorado Front Range as well as other water-stressed regions of the western U.S.

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Page publiée le 21 novembre 2018