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Wesley Neely, IGPP, UC San Diego-The Ups and Downs of the San Joaquin Valley

Thursday, April 15, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm Passcode: 467202

Wesley Neely

IGPP, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego

The Ups and Downs of the San Joaquin Valley: New Hydrologic Perspectives Using Geodesy

Groundwater accounts for nearly a third of global freshwater withdrawals and is a vital resource for urban, industrial, and agricultural use. Increasingly persistent and intense droughts resulting from a warming climate have motivated further reliance on groundwater. The direct observation of these underground reservoirs has remained limited as groundwater level data are often spatially and temporally sparse. However, advances in remote sensing and geodetic tools offer an alternative perspective to the time-dependent characterization of groundwater systems. In this seminar, I will describe how the combination of geodetic and hydrologic data can provide new insights into seasonal groundwater recharge and subsurface flow processes at policy relevant scales. In California’s San Joaquin Valley the timing, magnitude, and spatial patterns of deformation across wet and dry water years offers a unique window into aquifer system response to natural surface-water variability and anthropogenic activities. Using poroelastic theory, seasonal deformation indicates targeted zones of recharge throughout the valley. These discoveries demonstrate the potential of geodetic datasets and begin to direct future lines of inquiry. Passcode:  467202

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Geophysics Department
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