Author: Rathay, Sarah Yvonne
The response of a fractured bedrock aquifer in a temperate region (Gulf Islands, British Columbia) to heavy rainfall events is characterized. Of the 14 provincial observation wells with hourly groundwater level data, wells with shallow water levels showed pronounced responses to heavy rain events, a lag less than 12 hours, and a strong correlation to all rain events. Rises in groundwater level at Well 125 appear to be better related to all rain events than exclusively heavy rain during summer, and decrease as the rainfall intensity increases. Thermal infrared images and δ18O and δ2H composition for precipitation and seepage indicate an increase in seepage in the late fall and winter. Solution of the Green-Ampt equation for rainfall events of varying magnitude suggest that an increase in winter rainfall intensity leads to more surface ponding and overland flow. The projected occurrence of more heavy rain events in the future may result in lower net recharge.
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Thesis advisor: Allen, Diana
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