Abstract: The Kern Plateau: A Potential Extra-basinal Source of Groundwater Recharge to the Indian Wells Valley
HOWARD, P. A., E. K. OEHLSCHLAGER, J. GILLICK, J. MCALLE, A. T. SHERMAN, J. R. OSTDICK, D. C. STEWARD, J. M. GILLESPIE, and G. D. THYNE
Hydrogeologic studies by graduate and undergraduate students at California State University Bakersfield suggest that high quality groundwater in the southwest Indian Wells Valley alluvial aquifer is chemically related to surface waters from the Kern Plateau. The valley's groundwater chemistry does not resemble lower quality surface water in the adjacent Sierran drainages. The Kern Plateau lies outside the valley's drainage basin high in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains. An equipotential map of the southeastern Sierra shows that a head differential of 6400 feet may be driving Kern Plateau waters to the Indian Wells Valley through a series of northeast and northwest-trending faults and fractures that are visible as lineaments on aerial and satellite photography. Field observations in several eastern Sierran canyons adjacent to the valley indicate that some fractures in the crystalline bedrock do control surface and groundwater flow.
Search and Discovery Article #90945©1997 AAPG Pacific Section Meeting, Bakersfield, California