Groundwater isotopes in the sonoyta river watershed, usa-mexico: Implications for recharge sources and management of the quitobaquito springs

Hector A. Zamora, Christopher J. Eastoe, Benjamin T. Wilder, Jennifer C. McIntosh, Thomas Meixner, Karl Flessa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Groundwater resources in the southwestern United States are finite and riparian and wetland areas are vulnerable to aquifer overdraft and unregulated groundwater use. Environmental isotopes and water chemistry were used to distinguish water types, recharge mechanisms, and residence time along several reaches of the Sonoyta River and Quitobaquito Springs located near the U.S.-Mexico border. Areas located upgradient from the Sonoyta River, such as the Puerto Blanco Mountains and La Abra Plain, are supported by local recharge which corresponds to water from the largest 30% of rain events mainly occurring during winter. For Quitobaquito Springs, the δ18 O and δ2 H values are too low to be derived from local recharge. Stable isotope data and Cl/SO4 mass ratios indicate that the Sonoyta River supplied Quitobaquito Springs through flow along a suggested fault system. Based on these results, Quitobaquito Springs flow could be diminished by any activity resulting in increased groundwater extraction and lowering of water elevations in the Sonoyta River regional aquifer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3307
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Volume12
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Environmental isotopes
  • Groundwater
  • Sonoyta River
  • Springs
  • Transboundary watershed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology

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