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Direct Current Resistivity Profiling to Study Distribution of Water in the Unsaturated Zone Near the Amargosa Desert Research Site, Nevada

By Jared D. Abraham and Jeffrey E. Lucius

Open-File Report 2004–1319

thumbnail image of field site in Amargosa Desert, Nevada (fig.1)
Version 1.0
Published 2004

In order to study the distribution of water in the unsaturated zone and potential for ground-water recharge near the Amargosa Desert Research Site south of Beatty, Nevada, the U.S. Geological Survey collected direct-current resistivity measurements along three profiles in May 2003 using an eight-channel resistivity imaging system. Resistivity data were collected along profiles across the ADRS, across a poorly incised (distributary) channel system of the Amargosa River southwest of the ADRS, and across a well-incised flood plain of the Amargosa River northwest of the ADRS.

This report describes results of an initial investigation to estimate the distribution of water in the unsaturated zone and to evaluate the shallow subsurface stratigraphy near the ADRS. The geophysical method of dc resistivity was employed by using automated data collection with numerous electrodes. "Cross sections" of resistivity, produced by using an inversion algorithm on the field data, at the three field sites are presented and interpreted.

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