Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2020NM329B

Electrical Resistivity Mapping of Rio Grande River-Groundwater Connectivity

Institute: New Mexico
Year Established: 2020 Start Date: 2020-03-01 End Date: 2021-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $19,926 Total Non-Federal Funds: $39,852

Principal Investigators: Kenneth C. Carroll

Abstract: Disconnection of the Rio Grande River from the groundwater system was identified during drought even during the irrigation season, which alters recharge, conjunctive use, water resource sustainability, hyporheic zone exchange, and numerous ecological and biogeochemical processes. The timing and spatial distribution of the connection and disconnection is still unknown. Modeling papers focusing on disconnection suggest potential for spatial variability of the connection and disconnection with the riverbed. Typically, this is shown in cross-section with disconnection at the riverbank lateral boundaries of the river while the center (or some portion) of the riverbed remains connected, which is attributed to groundwater mounding and riverbed geometry. This phenomena of partial riverbed disconnection has never been observed in experimental or field systems even though it is likely to be critical to understanding and quantifying surface-groundwater disconnection.