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Open-File Report 2014–1179

Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy

Stochastic Modeling of a Lava-Flow Aquifer System

By C. Cronkite-Ratcliff and G.A. Phelps

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (1.7 MB)Abstract

This report describes preliminary three-dimensional geostatistical modeling of a lava-flow aquifer system using a multiple-point geostatistical model. The purpose of this study is to provide a proof-of-concept for this modeling approach. An example of the method is demonstrated using a subset of borehole geologic data and aquifer test data from a portion of the Calico Hills Formation, a lava-flow aquifer system that partially underlies Pahute Mesa, Nevada. Groundwater movement in this aquifer system is assumed to be controlled by the spatial distribution of two geologic units—rhyolite lava flows and zeolitized tuffs. The configuration of subsurface lava flows and tuffs is largely unknown because of limited data. The spatial configuration of the lava flows and tuffs is modeled by using a multiple-point geostatistical simulation algorithm that generates a large number of alternative realizations, each honoring the available geologic data and drawn from a geologic conceptual model of the lava-flow aquifer system as represented by a training image. In order to demonstrate how results from the geostatistical model could be analyzed in terms of available hydrologic data, a numerical simulation of part of an aquifer test was applied to the realizations of the geostatistical model.

First posted November 18, 2014

This report is only available on-line

For additional information, contact:
Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
345 Middlefield Road, MS 901
Menlo Park, CA 94025-3591

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Suggested citation:

Cronkite-Ratcliff, C., and Phelps, G.A., 2014, Stochastic modeling of a lava-flow aquifer system: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014–1179, 18 p.,

ISSN 2331–1258 (online)




Purpose and Scope

Geologic Modeling

Analysis of Aquifer Test Simulation





Figures (8)

Tables (2)

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