Comment on “Testing the Interbasin Flow Hypothesis at Death Valley, California”



In the 1960s, a major hydrogeologic investigation was conducted at the Nevada Test Site (NTS, Figure 1) that included drilling, hydraulic testing, and hydrogeochemical studies in conjunction with geologic mapping and geophysical surveys. This work demonstrated that a large part of south central Nevada is underlain by thick (several kilometers) highly fractured Paleozoic carbonate rocks that typically act as an aquifer. The aquifer flanks and underlies most of the intermontane basins from east central Nevada southward, through the NTS, to the southern Funeral Mountains east of Death Valley (Figure 1). Water levels measured in many test holes demonstrate that the potentiometric surface in the carbonate aquifer generally is uninterrupted by the ridges that separate the many topographically closed basins of the region.