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Mapping incised-valley-fill deposits in the Central Valley

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The Central Valley, where one third of all U.S. produce is grown, relies heavily on groundwater to sustain its agriculture. As climate changes and water resources become more scarce, there is an enhanced need for characterization of groundwater resources. To improve our understanding of groundwater recharge pathways in the Central Valley aquifers, I am mapping the highly permeable incised-valley-fill deposits in the Central Valley and studying their shapes and connectivity structure. To do this, I quantitatively integrate models of sediment deposition, well data, and time-domain transient airborne electromagnetic data in a Bayesian framework to create geologically-constrained hydrologic models. These high-quality hydrogeologic models can be used to devise strategies for aquifer recharge, pumping, and management. Alex Miltenberger