Bryant C Jurgens

Bryant C Jurgens
United States Geological Survey | USGS · California Water Science Center

MS - Hydrology, UC Davis

About

79
Publications
11,506
Reads
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Introduction
Groundwater is an important source of drinking water in the United States. In order to assess the status and long-term sustainability of this important resource, I use environmental tracers, geochemical modeling, and statistical methods to understand the age structure, geochemical processes, and trends affecting water-quality in aquifers. Programming, tool development, and interactive web sites are ways to connect my work with other researchers and the public.
Additional affiliations
June 2000 - present
California Science Center
Position
  • Research Hydrologist
June 2000 - present
United States Geological Survey
Position
  • Research Hydrologist
Education
October 2004 - June 2007
University of California, Davis
Field of study
  • Hydrology
October 1998 - June 2002
University of California, Davis
Field of study
  • Soil and Water Science

Publications

Publications (79)
Article
Full-text available
Uranium (U) concentrations in groundwater in several parts of the eastern San Joaquin Valley, California, have exceeded federal and state drinking water standards during the last 20 years. The San Joaquin Valley is located within the Central Valley of California and is one of the most productive agricultural areas in the world. Increased irrigation...
Technical Report
Full-text available
TracerLPM is an interactive Excel® (2007 or later) workbook program for evaluating groundwater age distributions from environmental tracer data by using lumped parameter models (LPMs). Lumped parameter models are mathematical models of transport based on simplified aquifer geometry and flow configurations that account for effects of hydrodynamic di...
Article
Full-text available
A partial exponential lumped parameter model (PEM) was derived to determine age distributions and nitrate trends in long-screened production wells. The PEM can simulate age distributions for wells screened over any finite interval of an aquifer that has an exponential distribution of age with depth. The PEM has 3 parameters – the ratio of saturated...
Technical Report
Full-text available
DGMETA (Dissolved Gas Modeling and Environmental Tracer Analysis) is a Microsoft Excel-based computer program that is used for modeling air-water equilibrium conditions from measurements of dissolved gases and for computing concentrations of environmental tracers that rely on air-water equilibrium model results. DGMETA can solve for the temperature...
Article
Full-text available
In the U.S., about 44 million people rely on self-supplied groundwater for drinking water. Because most self-supplied homeowners do not treat their water to control corrosion, drinking water can be susceptible to lead (Pb) contamination from metal plumbing. To assess the types and locations of susceptible groundwater, a geochemical reaction model t...
Article
Full-text available
The distribution of groundwater age is useful for evaluating the susceptibility and sustainability of groundwater resources. Here, we compute the aquifer-scale cumulative distribution function to characterize the age distribution for 21 Principal Aquifers that account for ~80% of public-supply pumping in the United States. The aquifer-scale cumulat...
Article
Fluoride is a naturally occurring element in groundwater that supports bone and dental health at low concentrations but can cause health problems at elevated concentrations in drinking water. This study investigates spatial and temporal trends for fluoride concentrations in untreated groundwater from over 20,000 public supply wells in California. T...
Article
Full-text available
Drought-induced pumpage has precipitated dramatic groundwater-level declines in California’s Central Valley over the past 30 years, but the impacts of aquifer overdraft on water quality are poorly understood. This study coupled over 160,000 measurements of nitrate from ∼6,000 public-supply wells with a 30-year reconstruction of groundwater levels t...
Article
The purpose of this study is to determine the occurrence, movement, and sources of perchlorate in groundwater using a comprehensive set of environmental tracers coupled with discrete borehole data. Potential sources of perchlorate to groundwater at the study site have been attributed to waste disposal and industrial activities as well as to past ag...
Article
Full-text available
Groundwater is an important source of drinking and irrigation water. Dating groundwater informs its vulnerability to contamination and aids in calibrating flow models. Here, we report measurements of multiple age tracers ( ¹⁴ C, ³ H, ³⁹ Ar, and ⁸⁵ Kr) and parameters relevant to dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) from 17 wells in California’s San Joaq...
Article
Full-text available
In the San Joaquin Valley (SJV), California, about 10% of drinking water wells since 2010 had arsenic concentrations above the US maximum contaminant level of 10 μg/L. High concentrations of arsenic are often associated with high pH (greater than 7.8) or reduced geochemical conditions. Although most wells have low arsenic (<3 μg/L) and do not have...
Article
Full-text available
Areas of improving and degrading groundwater-quality conditions in the State of Califor-nia were assessed using spatial weighting of a new metric for scoring wells based on constituent concentrations and the direction and magnitude of a trend slope (Sen). Individual well scores were aggregated across 2135 equal-area grid cells covering the entire g...
Article
Full-text available
Groundwater geochemistry, redox process classification, high-frequency physicochemical and hydrologic measurements, and climate data were analyzed to identify controls on arsenic (As) concentration changes. Groundwater was monitored in two public-supply wells (one glacial aquifer and one bedrock aquifer), and one bedrock-aquifer domestic well in Ne...
Article
When groundwater based drinking water supply becomes contaminated, the timing and source of contamination are obvious questions. However, contaminants often have diffuse sources and different contaminants may have different sources even in a single groundwater well, making these questions complicated to answer. Age dating of groundwater has been us...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Identification of the groundwater resources used for drinking-water supplies is essential for the design of strategies to manage those resources. In this study, the spatial extent, depths, thicknesses, and volumes of groundwater aquifers used for domestic and public drinking-water supply were estimated from locations and well-construction data from...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Categorical classification of groundwater age is often used for the assessment and understanding of groundwater resources. This report presents a tritium-based age classification system for the conterminous United States based on tritium (3H) thresholds that vary in space and time: modern (recharged in 1953 or later), if the measured value is large...
Article
Water samples from 50 domestic wells located <1 km (proximal) and >1 km (distal) from shale-gas wells in upland areas of the Marcellus Shale region were analyzed for chemical, isotopic, and groundwater-age tracers. Uplands were targeted because natural mixing with brine and hydrocarbons from deep formations is less common in those areas compared to...
Article
Full-text available
Three wells in New Hampshire were sampled bimonthly over three years to evaluate the temporal variability of arsenic concentrations and groundwater age. All samples had measurable concentrations of arsenic throughout the entire sampling period and concentrations in individual wells had a mean variation of more than 7 μg/L. The time series data from...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen (half-life is equal to 12.32 years). Since it is part of the water molecule, tritium can be used to track and date groundwater and surface water when the history of tritium in precipitation and recharge is known. To facilitate that effort, tritium concentrations in precipitation were reconstructed from m...
Data
This data release documents three Microsoft Excel tables that contain estimates of tritium in precipitation data for the continental United States. Table 1 contains estimates of tritium in precipitation for precipitation stations located in the continental United States. Measured precipitation data are formatted in regular font while correlated dat...
Article
Full-text available
Total dissolved solids (TDS) concentrations in groundwater tapped for beneficial uses (drinking water, irrigation, freshwater industrial) have increased on average by about 100 mg/L over the last 100 years in the San Joaquin Valley, California (SJV). During this period land use in the SJV changed from natural vegetation and dryland agriculture to d...
Article
This report provides a full digitization of historic groundwater-quality and depth-to-water data from Mendenhall and others (1916) Water Supply Paper 398, “Ground Water in San Joaquin Valley, California” in a modern format suitable for further analysis of California’s water supply resources. Included are geochemical data for over 400 wells collecte...
Article
Full-text available
Beginning in the 1970s, Alameda County Water District began infiltrating imported water through ponds in repurposed gravel quarries at the Quarry Lakes Regional Park, in the Niles Cone groundwater subbasin, to recharge groundwater and to minimize intrusion of saline, San Francisco Bay water into freshwater aquifers. Hydraulic connection between dis...
Article
Process-based modeling of regional NO3− fluxes to groundwater is critical for understanding and managing water quality, but the complexity of NO3− reactive transport processes make implementation a challenge. This study introduces a regional vertical flux method (VFM) for efficient estimation of reactive transport of NO3− in the vadose zone and gro...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Arsenic concentrations at a domestic bedrock well in southeast New Hampshire ranged from 29.7 to 43.3 µg/L over a four year period, resulting in a relative percentage difference of 37 percent. The well had high pH (7.8 to 8.1) and low dissolved oxygen (<0.1 to 0.3 mg/L) typical of other bedrock wells in New England with elevated As levels (>10 µg/L...
Article
Full-text available
Intense demand for water in the Central Valley of California and related increases in groundwater nitrate concentration threaten the sustainability of the groundwater resource. To assess contamination risk in the region, we developed a hybrid, non-linear, machine learning model within a statistical learning framework to predict nitrate contaminatio...
Article
Full-text available
High radium (Ra) concentrations in potable portions of the Cambrian-Ordovician (C-O) aquifer system were investigated using water-quality data and environmental tracers (³H, ³Hetrit, SF6, ¹⁴C and ⁴Herad) of groundwater age from 80 public-supply wells (PSWs). Groundwater ages were estimated by calibration of tracers to lumped parameter models and ra...
Article
In 2013 to 2015, 833 public supply wells in 15 Principal aquifers in the U.S. were sampled to identify which aquifers contained high methane concentrations (>1 mg/L) and determine the geologic, hydrologic, and geochemical conditions associated with high concentrations. This study represents the first national assessment of methane in aquifers used...
Article
Water wells (n = 116) overlying the Eagle Ford, Fayetteville, and Haynesville Shale hydrocarbon production areas were sampled for chemical, isotopic, and groundwater-age tracers to investigate the occurrence and sources of selected hydrocarbons in groundwater. Methane isotopes and hydrocarbon gas compositions indicate most of the methane in the wel...
Article
Full-text available
Samples collected about one decade apart from 1105 wells from across the U.S. were compiled to assess whether uranium concentrations in the arid climate are linked to changing bicarbonate concentrations in the irrigated western U.S. Uranium concentrations in groundwater were high in the arid climate in the western U.S, where uranium sources are abu...
Article
Full-text available
Wells along two regional flow paths were sampled to characterize changes in water quality and the vulnerability to contamination of the Memphis aquifer across a range of hydrologic and land-use conditions in the southeastern United States. The flow paths begin in the aquifer outcrop area and end at public supply wells in the confined parts of the a...
Article
Temporal changes in methyl tert-butyl ether (MtBE) concentrations in groundwater were evaluated in the northeastern United States, an area of the nation with widespread low-level detections of MtBE based on a national survey of wells selected to represent ambient conditions. MtBE use in the U.S. peaked in 1999 and was largely discontinued by 2007....
Technical Report
Full-text available
Corrosive groundwater, if untreated, can dissolve lead and other metals from pipes and other components in water distribution systems. Two indicators of potential corrosivity—the Langelier Saturation Index (LSI) and the Potential to Promote Galvanic Corrosion (PPGC)—were used to identify which areas in the United States might be more susceptible to...
Article
Full-text available
Rates of oxygen and nitrate reduction are key factors in determining the chemical evolution of groundwater. Little is known about how these rates vary and covary in regional groundwater settings, as few studies have focused on regional datasets with multiple tracers and methods of analysis that account for effects of mixed residence times on appare...
Data
Full-text available
Model responses of whole aquifer discharge (e.g., fully penetrating well, spring, or stream discharge) to various contaminant input scenarios, with and without degradation.
Data
Screen capture of webtool showing input data, output data, and graphic panels.
Data
Full-text available
Model responses of various well configurations to a simple rectangular contaminant input record, illustrating differences in initial response time (delay), flushing time, and peak concentration.
Data
Full-text available
Description of webtool including example applications (with figures).
Article
Full-text available
Trends in concentrations of nonpoint-source contaminants in wells, springs, and streams are related to the history of contamination in groundwater recharge and the age distribution in the groundwater discharge. The age distribution in discharge depends on the groundwater age distribution in the aquifer and the subset of flowpaths that are sampled b...
Article
Analytical models of the travel time distribution (TTD) from a source area to a sample location are often used to estimate groundwater ages and solute concentration trends. The accuracies of these models are not well known for geologically complex aquifers. In this study, synthetic datasets were used to quantify the accuracy of four analytical TTD...
Article
Full-text available
Seasonal variability in groundwater pumping is common in many places, but resulting effects of seasonal pumping stress on the quality of water produced by public-supply wells are not thoroughly understood. Analysis of historical water-quality samples from public-supply wells completed in deep basin-fill aquifers in Modesto, California (134 wells) a...
Article
Full-text available
The age distribution of water from a public-supply well in a deep alluvial aquifer was estimated and used to help explain arsenic variability in the water. The age distribution was computed using a ternary mixing model that combines three lumped parameter models of advection-dispersion transport of environmental tracers, which represent relatively...
Article
Full-text available
A regional assessment of multi-decadal changes in nitrate concentrations was done using historical data and a spatially stratified non-biased approach. Data were stratified into physiographic subregions on the basis of geomorphology and soils data to represent zones of historical recharge and discharge patterns in the basin. Data were also stratifi...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental age tracers have been used in various ways to help assess vulnerability of drinking-water production wells to contamination. The most appropriate approach will depend on the information that is available and that which is desired. To understand how the well will respond to changing nonpoint-source contaminant inputs at the water table...
Article
Full-text available
The proportion of an aquifer with constituent concentrations above a specified threshold (high concentrations) is taken as a non-dimensional measure of regional-scale water quality. If computed on the basis of area, it can be referred to as the aquifer-scale proportion. A spatially-unbiased estimate of aquifer-scale proportion, and a confidence int...
Article
Full-text available
The proportion of an aquifer with constituent concentrations above a specified threshold (high concentrations) is taken as a nondimensional measure of regional scale water quality. If computed on the basis of area, it can be referred to as the aquifer scale proportion. A spatially unbiased estimate of aquifer scale proportion and a confidence inter...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Groundwater quality in the 2,079 square mile Northern San Joaquin Basin (Northern San Joaquin) study unit was investigated from December 2004 through February 2005 as part of the Priority Basin Project of the Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program. The GAMA Priority Basin Project was developed in response to the Groundwater Qu...