Projected water table depths for coastal California using present-day and future sea-level rise scenarios

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Description Seamless unconfined groundwater heads for coastal California groundwater systems were modeled with homogeneous, steady-state MODFLOW simulations. The geographic extent examined was limited primarily to low-elevation (i.e. land surface less than approximately 10 m above mean sea level) areas. In areas where coastal elevations increase rapidly (e.g., bluff stretches), the model boundary was set approximately 1 kilometer inland of the present-day shoreline. Steady-state MODFLOW groundwater flow models were used to obtain detailed (10-meter-scale) predictions over large geographic scales (100s of kilometers) of groundwater heads for both current and future sea-level rise (SLR) scenarios (0 to 2 meters (m) in 0.25 m increments, 2.5 m, 3 m, and 5 m) using a range of horizontal hydraulic conductivity (Kh) scenarios (0.1, 1, and 10 m/day). For each SLR/Kh combination, results are provided for two marine boundary conditions, local mean sea level (LMSL) and mean higher-high water (MHHW), and two model versions. In the first model version, groundwater reaching the land surface is removed from the model, simulating loss via natural drainage. In the second model version, groundwater reaching the land surface is retained, simulating the worst-case "linear" response of groundwater head to sea-level rise. Modeled groundwater heads were then subtracted from high-resolution topographic digital elevation model (DEM) data to obtain the water table depths. Additional details about the groundwater model and data sources are outlined in Befus and others (2020) and in Groundwater_model_methods.pdf (available at Methods specific to groundwater head and water table depth products are outlined in Groundwater_head_and_water_table_depth_methods.pdf (available at _and_water_table_depth_methods.pdf). Please read the model details, data sources and methods summaries, and inspect model output carefully. Data are complete for the information presented. Users should note that while the metadata Spatial Reference Information/UTM Zone Number in this document is 10, some files in southern California are in UTM Zone 11, as noted in the Format Specification for individual downloadable files. As a result users may need to modify the metadata for automated import and display of Zone 11 datafiles. [More]
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