Quantifying stream-loss recovery in a spring using dual-tracer injections in the Snake Creek drainage, Great Basin National Park, Nevada, USA
Simultaneous short-pulse injections of two tracers (sodium bromide [Br–] and fluorescein dye) were made in a losing reach of Snake Creek in Great Basin National Park, Nevada, USA, to evaluate the quantity of stream loss through permeable carbonates that resurfaces at a spring approximately 10 km down drainage. A revised hydrogeologic cross section for a possible flow path of the infiltrated Snake Creek water is presented, and the results may inform water management in the region. First arrival and peak concentration of the two tracers occurred at 9.5 and 12.7 days after injection, respectively. Fracture transport simulations indicate that Br– preferentially diffuses into immobile regions of the aquifer, and this diffusive flux is likely responsible for the major differences in the breakthrough curves. When considering the diffusive tracer flux, total apparent Br– and fluorescein dye recoveries were 16.9–22.1% and 21.7–24.3%, respectively. These findings imply that consideration of diffusive flux and long-term monitoring in fracture-dominated flow may support accurate quantification of tracer recovery. In addition, the apparent power law slopes of the breakthrough tails for both tracers were steeper at early times than have been attributed to heterogeneous advection or channeling in meter-scale tests, but the late-time Br– power law slope becomes less steep than has been attributed to diffusive exchange. These deviations may reflect fracture transport patterns that occur at larger scales.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Quantifying stream-loss recovery in a spring using dual-tracer injections in the Snake Creek drainage, Great Basin National Park, Nevada, USA|
|Series title||Hydrogeology Journal|
|Contributing office(s)||Nevada Water Science Center, Utah Water Science Center|
|Other Geospatial||Great Basin National Park, Snake Creek|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|