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U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
Water-Resources Investigations Report 02-4261

Simulation of the Ground-Water Flow System at Naval Submarine Base Bangor and Vicinity, Kitsap County, Washington

Prepared in cooperation with
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
ENGINEERING FIELD ACTIVITY, NORTHWEST
NAVAL FACILITIES ENGINEERING COMMAND

By Marijke van Heeswijk and Daniel T. Smith

ABSTRACT

An evaluation of the interaction between ground-water flow on Naval Submarine Base Bangor and the regional-flow system shows that for selected alternatives of future ground-water pumping on and near the base, the risk is low that significant concentrations of on-base ground-water contamination will reach off-base public-supply wells and hypothetical wells southwest of the base. The risk is low even if worst-case conditions are considered — no containment and remediation of on-base contamination. The evaluation also shows that future saltwater encroachment of aquifers below sea level may be possible, but this determination has considerable uncertainty associated with it. The potential effects on the ground-water flow system resulting from four hypothetical ground-water pumping alternatives were considered, including no change in 1995 pumping rates, doubling the rates, and 2020 rates estimated from population projections with two different pumping distributions.

All but a continuation of 1995 pumping rates demonstrate the possibility of future saltwater encroachment in the Sea-level aquifer on Naval Submarine Base Bangor. The amount of time it would take for encroachment to occur is unknown. For all pumping alternatives, future saltwater encroachment in the Sea-level aquifer also may be possible along Puget Sound east and southeast of the base. Future saltwater encroachment in the Deep aquifer also may be possible throughout large parts of the study area. Projections of saltwater encroachment are least certain outside the boundaries of Naval Submarine Base Bangor.

The potential effects of the ground-water pumping alternatives were evaluated by simulating the ground-water flow system with a three-dimensional uniform-density ground-water flow model. The model was calibrated by trial-and-error by minimizing differences between simulated and measured or estimated variables. These included water levels from prior to January 17, 1977 (termed "predevelopment"), water-level drawdowns since predevelopment until April 15, 1995, ground-water discharge to streams in water year 1995, and residence times of ground water in different parts of the flow system that were estimated in a separate but related study. Large amounts of ground water were pumped from 1977 through 1980 from the Sea-level aquifer on Naval Submarine Base Bangor to enable the construction of an off-shore drydock. Records of the flow-system responses to the applied stresses were used to help calibrate the model. Errors in the calibrated model were significant. The poor agreement between simulated and measured values could be improved by making many local changes to hydraulic parameters but these changes were not supported by other data. Model errors may have resulted in errors in the simulated effects of ground-water pumping alternatives.

 

CONTENTS

Abstract
Introduction
Ground-Water Hydrology
Simulation of the Ground-Water Flow System
Effects of Simulated Ground-Water Pumping Alternatives
Limitations and Assumptions
Summary and Conclusions
References Cited
Appendix 1. Physical and hydrologic data for wells used in this study that were not used in the hydrogeology study by Kahle (1998), SUBASE Bangor and vicinity, Kitsap County, Washington
Appendix 2. Original altitude of land surface for wells as used in the hydrogeology study by Kahle (1998), modified altitude of land surface as used in this study, and the difference between the modified and original altitude of land surface, SUBASE Bangor, Kitsap County, Washington
Appendix 3. Graphs showing simulated and measured drawdowns since predevelopment in wells open to selected aquifers, SUBASE Bangor and vicinity, Kitsap County, Washington
Appendix 4. Simulated and measured drawdowns from predevelopment until July 1, 1979, and the difference between simulated and measured drawdowns, SUBASE Bangor and vicinity, Kitsap County, Washington
Appendix 5. Simulated and measured drawdowns from predevelopment until April 15, 1995, and the difference between simulated and measured drawdowns, SUBASE Bangor and vicinity, Kitsap County, Washington

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Send questions or comments about this report to the author, Marijke van Heeswijk (heeswijk@usgs.gov) 253.428.3600 ext. 2625.

For more information about USGS activities in Washington, visit the USGS Washington District home page.

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