Hydraulic and Mechanical Properties Affecting Ground-Water Flow and Aquifer-System Compaction, San Joaquin Valley, California

By Michelle Sneed


Open-File Report 01-35

Sacramento, California 2001
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This report summarizes hydraulic and mechanical properties affecting ground-water flow and aquifer-system compaction in the San Joaquin Valley, a broad alluviated intermontane structural trough that constitutes the southern two-thirds of the Central Valley of California. These values will be used to constrain a coupled ground-water flow and aquifer-system compaction model of the western San Joaquin Valley called WESTSIM. A main objective of the WESTSIM model is to evaluate potential future land subsidence that might occur under conditions in which deliveries of imported surface water for agricultural use are reduced and ground-water pumping is increased. Storage values generally are components of the total aquifer-system storage and include inelastic and elastic skeletal storage values of the aquifers and the aquitards that primarily govern the potential amount of land subsidence. Vertical hydraulic conductivity values generally are for discrete thicknesses of sediments, usually aquitards, that primarily govern the rate of land subsidence. The data were compiled from published sources and include results of aquifer tests, stress-strain analyses of borehole extensometer observations, laboratory consolidation tests, and calibrated models of aquifer-system compaction.


  Purpose and Scope
  Location of Study Area
  Hydrogeologic Setting
Aquifer-System Storage
  Elastic and Inelastic Compressibility (Specific Storage)
  Aquifer-System Storage Coefficients
Estimates Of Aquifer-System Storage Values
  Aquifer-Test Analyses
  Stress-Strain Analyses of Borehole Extensometer Observations
  Laboratory Consolidation Tests
  Model Simulations
Evaluation of Specific-Storage Values


  1. Location of selected features in the Central Valley, California.
  2. Relation of WESTSIM (U.S. Bureau of Reclamation) model domain and RASA (U.S. Geological Survey)
    model domain.


  1. Storage coefficients estimated from results of aquifer tests near Pixley, California, February 1961 and
    March 1963.
  2. Aquifer-system properties estimated from results of stress-strain analyses of borehole extensometer
    observations, San Joaquin Valley, California.
  3. Consolidation test summaries.
  4. Aquifer-system properties estimated from results of calibrated models, San Joaquin Valley, California.
  5. Aquifer-system properties used in Regional Aquifer-System Analysis simulations.

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Water Resources of California

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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