Evaluation of Groundwater Sources, Flow Paths, and Residence Time of the Gran Desierto Pozos, Sonora, Mexico
AuthorZamora, Hector A.
Wilder, Benjamin T.
Eastoe, Christopher J.
McIntosh, Jennifer C.
Flessa, Karl W.
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Hydrol & Atmospher Sci
Univ Arizona, Dept Geosci
MetadataShow full item record
CitationZamora, H.A.; Wilder, B.T.; Eastoe, C.J.; McIntosh, J.C.; Welker, J.; Flessa, K.W. Evaluation of Groundwater Sources, Flow Paths, and Residence Time of the Gran Desierto Pozos, Sonora, Mexico. Geosciences 2019, 9, 378.
RightsCopyright © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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AbstractEnvironmental isotopes and water chemistry distinguish water types, aquifer recharge mechanisms, and flow paths in the Gran Desierto and Colorado River delta aquifer. The aquifer beneath the Gran Desierto supports a series of spring-fed wetlands, locally known as pozos, which have provided vital water resources to diverse flora and fauna and to travelers who visited the area for millennia. Stable isotope data shows that local recharge originates as winter precipitation, but is not the main source of water in the pozos. Instead, Colorado River water with substantial evaporation is the main component of water in the aquifer that feeds the pozos. Before infiltration, Colorado River water was partially evaporated in an arid wetland environment. Groundwater followed flow paths, created by the Altar Fault, into the current location of the pozos at Bahía Adair. Mixing with seawater is observed at the pozos located near the coast of the Gulf of California. The wetlands or other natural settings that allowed recharge to the aquifer feeding the pozos no longer exist. This leaves the pozos vulnerable to major groundwater pumping and development in the area.
NoteOpen access journal
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsNational Park Service Southwest Border Resource Protection Program [P16AC00045]; University of Arizona Chevron Texaco Geology Summer Fellowship