• Flow model for the Bingham cienega area, San Pedro river basin, Arizona: a management and restoration tool

      Ronayne, Michael James; Maddock, Thomas, III; Department of Hydrology & Water Resources, The University of Arizona (Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1996-10)
      A finite element groundwater flow model was used to support a hydrologic assessment for a study area in the Lower San Pedro River Basin which contains the Bingham Cienega. Consolidated sedimentary rocks associated with an extension of the Catalina Core Complex truncate the floodplain aquifer system in the study area. The elevated water table produced by this "hardrock" results in spring discharge at the cienega and a locally gaining reach of the San Pedro River. The steady -state model suggests that recharge (and discharge) components for the floodplain aquifer sum to 3.10 cfs. Mountain front recharge, underflow, and stream leakage are the primary recharge mechanisms, while stream leakage, evapotranspiration, spring flow, and underflow out are sources for groundwater discharge. A steady -oscillatory model was used to account for seasonal periodicity in the system's boundary conditions. Monthly variation in the evapotranspiration rate was offset primarily by storage changes in the aquifer. Due to a lack of measured hydrologic data within the study area, results from the model simulations are only preliminary. Model development and the subsequent sensitivity analyses have provided insight into what type of data needs to be collected. Head measurements are most needed in the area just downstream from Bingham Cienega. The mountain front recharge and evapotranspiration rates are shown to be highly sensitive parameters in the model; improved estimation of these values would be helpful. Spring discharge would be a valuable calibration tool if it could be accurately measured. A more extensive record of stream baseflow in the San Pedro River should be established. After more hydrologic data is collected, the model could be recalibrated so as to better represent the system. Eventually, this tool may be used in direct support of management and/or restoration decisions.
    • Literature Pertaining to Water Quality and Quantity in Unsaturated Porous Media

      Tyagi, Avdhesh K. (Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1972-05)
      Introduction: The movement of moisture and the simultaneous transfer of water and solutes in unsaturated porous media are problems of practical interest in ground water hydrology and soil physics. A large fraction of the water falling as rain on the land surfaces of the earth moves through unsaturated zone of soil during the subsequent processes of infiltration, drainage, evaporation, and absorption of soil -water by plant roots. A soil profile is characteristically nonuniform in its properties, nonisothermal, and may be nonrigid. Microorganisms and the roots of higher plants are a part of the system. This region is characterized by cylic fluctuation of water content as water is removed from the soil profile by evaportranspiration and replenished by recharge, irrigation, or rainfall. In unsaturated porous media the problem of movement and retention of water may be approached from (1) the molecular, (2) the microscopic, or (3) the macroscopic standpoint. In the molecular viewpoint theories of the mechanisms of flow and retention in terms of the behavior of water molecules are devised. At microscopic level a theory of flow treating the fluid in pores as a continuum and applying the principles of continuum mechanics to understand the detailed behavior of fluid within the pores is developed. The complicated pore geometry and consequent impossibility of specifying the boundary conditions on flow, preclude any practical progress by this appraoch. Since the behavior of individual molecules and the distributions of fluid velocity and pressure cannot be observed in porous media, a macroscopic theory of flow is needed. In the macroscopic approach, all variables are treated continuous functions of time and space. Velocity, pressure, and other variables are assumed as point functions. Thus, any theory of water transport to be useful must be developed to the point of describing the transfer of water on the macroscopic level. The coefficients of transport such as permeability and diffusivity can be defined microscopically. In many investigations which involve the transport of pesticides and fertilizes along with water , the simultaneous movement of water and solutes is of primary concern. These pollutants when mixed with water move in the unsaturated soil and finally join the region of saturated soil or water table, resulting in the contamination of fresh water existing below the water table. The scope of this report is to review the available literature, that may be categorized into two parts; one, the movement of water in unsaturated soil, and the other, the simultaneous movement of water and solutes in unsaturated soil. The papers, reviewed in this report, pertain to the theoretical study, laboratory study and field study on the two problems. At the end, an appendix appears which lists the references, categorizing the kind of study by various investigators.