Hydrogeological models of mountain regions present the opportunity to understand the role of geological factors on groundwater resources. The effects of sedimentary facies and fracture distribution on groundwater flow and resource exploitation are studied in the ancient fan delta of Sant Llorenç de Munt (central Catalonia, Spain) by integrating geological field observations (using sequence stratigraphy methods) and hydrogeological data (pumping tests, hydrochemistry and environmental isotopes). A comprehensive analysis of data portrays the massif as a single unit, constituted by different compartments determined by specific layers and sets of fractures. Two distinct flow systems—local and regional—are identified based on pumping test analysis as well as hydrochemical and isotopic data. Drawdown curves derived from pumping tests indicate that the behavior of the saturated layers, whose main porosity is given by the fracture network, corresponds to a confined aquifer. Pumping tests also reflect a double porosity within the system and the occurrence of impervious boundaries that support a compartmentalized model for the whole aquifer system. Hydrochemical data and associated spatial evolution show the result of water–rock interaction along the flow lines. Concentration of magnesium, derived from dolomite dissolution, is a tracer of the flow-path along distinct stratigraphic units. Water stable isotopes indicate that evaporation (near a 5% loss) occurs in a thick unsaturated zone within the massif before infiltration reaches the water table. The hydrogeological analysis of this outcropping system provides a methodology for the conceptualization of groundwater flow in similar buried systems where logging and hydrogeological information are scarce.
The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10040-017-1618-9
In many arid and semi-arid areas, intensive cultivation is practiced despite water commonly being a limiting factor. Often, irrigation water is from local aquifers or imported from out-of-area aquifers and surface reservoirs. Irrigation return flows become a significant local recharge source, but they may deteriorate aquifer water quality. La Aldea valley, located in the western sector of Gran Canaria Island (Atlantic Ocean), is a coastal, half-closed depression in altered, low-permeability volcanics with alluvium in the gullies and scree deposits over a large part of the area. This area is intensively cultivated. Irrigation water comes from reservoirs upstream and is supplemented (average 30 %) by local groundwater; supplementation goes up to 70 % in dry years, in which groundwater reserves are used up to exhaustion if the dry period persists. Thus, La Aldea aquifer is key to the water-supply system, whose recharge is mostly from return irrigation flows and the scarce local rainfall recharge on the scree formations, conveyed to the gully deposits. To quantify the hydrogeological conceptual model and check data coherence, a simplified numerical model has been constructed, which can be used as a tool to help in water management.
Barahona-Palomo, M.; Riva, M.; Sanchez-Vila, X.; Vazquez-Suñe, E.; Guadagnini, A. Hydrogeology journal Vol. 19, num. 3, p. 603-612 DOI: 10.1007/s10040-011-0706-5 Data de publicació: 2011-02-19 Article en revista
For semi-arid regions, methods of assessing aquifer recharge usually consider the potential evapotranspiration. Actual evapotranspiration rates can be below potential rates for long periods of time, even in irrigated systems. Accurate estimations of aquifer recharge in semi-arid areas under irrigated agriculture are essential for sustainable water-resources management. A method to estimate aquifer recharge from irrigated farmland has been tested. The water-balance-modelling approach was based on VisualBALAN v. 2.0, a computer code that simulates water balance in the soil, vadose zone and aquifer. The study was carried out in the Campo de Cartagena (SE Spain) in the period 1999–2008 for three different groups of crops: annual row crops (lettuce and melon), perennial vegetables (artichoke) and fruit trees (citrus). Computed mean-annual-recharge values (from irrigation+precipitation) during the study period were 397 mm for annual row crops, 201 mm for perennial vegetables and 194 mm for fruit trees: 31.4, 20.7 and 20.5% of the total applied water, respectively. The effects of rainfall events on the final recharge were clearly observed, due to the continuously high water content in soil which facilitated the infiltration process. A sensitivity analysis to assess the reliability and uncertainty of recharge estimations was carried out.
A comparative analysis of the existing hydrogeological and management information from 15 coastal aquifers in South America was performed in order to obtain insight into common features of the sub-continent
coastal zones. Some knowledge from other areas has been incorporated. There is a very variable degree of knowledge and management practice, ranging from almost no data and
no action (the most common case), to sound conceptual models about aquifer behaviour and comprehensive management actions such as relocation of abstractions, pumping brackish groundwater, and aquifer vulnerability
mapping. Some common features are: intensive groundwater exploitation; lack of characterization studies to support resource planning and management; lack of monitoring networks; and the need for raising awareness
within society and its involvement in resource planning and management action programmes. Quality and quantity problems arising in heavily populated areas associated with coastal aquifers in South America point to unsustainable groundwater development. The sustainable use of those aquifers must rely on adequate evaluation of aquifer characteristics and monitoring
Recovery tests are based on estimating transmissivity, T, from the heads that rebound after pumping has stopped. Recovery tests can be performed in wells where conventional constant-rate pumping tests would not be possible. Test interpretation is based on the simple Theis recovery method, related to late time drawdown in an infinite homogeneous aquifer. Yet, field data often cannot be explained by the homogeneous theory. Because T is heterogeneous over an evolving range of scales, it is important to evaluate the support scale of hydraulic tests. Numerical simulations are performed to show that heterogeneity in T can explain these field observations. It is also shown that the local T value around the well can be inferred from early time-recovery data, assuming ideal conditions, whereas late time data yield a large-scale (regional) representative value. Even when recovery is observed for a short time, indirect information about the regional value can also be obtained. A method for the interpretation of recovery tests is proposed based on the Theis recovery method that takes into account the heterogeneity of aquifers. Finally, some guidelines are provided for best test performance depending on the scale of the problem.