Thursday, March 31, 2011

3-D Groundwater Model of Columbia Plateau


While this model's purpose is to show likely water sources, I found the layering of geologic formations in the Columbia Basin useful. I have resorted to getting out the colored pencils to visualize the Columbia River Basalt layers and interlayers as well as the overlying younger formations. An approach that works well for learning the units but not so great for a presentation on water resources. Irrigation has transformed large parts of the Columbia Basin. While dams and canals were the initial source of irrigation, groundwater has become a big source as well. The model developed helps visualize why some areas will likely never have irrigation and some areas currently using groundwater are on borrowed time. 

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