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Groundwater resources in the Quaternary deposits and Lower Palaeozoic bedrock of the Rheidol catchment, west Wales

By
K. Hiscock
K. Hiscock
School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7T J, UK (email: k.hiscock@uea.ac.uk)
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A. Paci
A. Paci
School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7T J, UK (email: k.hiscock@uea.ac.uk)
Present address: Environment Agency, Bromholme Lane, Brampton, Huntingdon PE18 8NE, UK
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Published:
January 01, 2000

Abstract

An assessment of the groundwater potential of the River Rheidol catchment in west Wales is presented, a region where groundwater is an important source of water to Aberystwyth. An alternative approach to a conventional well inventory was undertaken based on the manipulation of data within a geographic information system (GIS). The GIS application revealed that, in the lower reaches of the catchment, 25% of the total recorded abstractions fall on the boundaries between different geological units and, of these, two-thirds relate to the contact between Quaternary deposits and bedrock. These abstractions are typically correlated with spring sources and represent small domestic supplies from shallow, brick-lined pits dug into the valley sides. Simple catchment water balance calculations showed that groundwater abstractions are minor in comparison to total combined surface and groundwater runoff.

Compared with the weathered and fractured bedrock, the floodplain gravel aquifer is of greater significance and is further enhanced by an unquantified amount of induced recharge from the River Rheidol. However, the resource contained in the Quaternary gravels is vulnerable to mainly agricultural contaminants derived either from direct leaching through the thin unsaturated zone, especially on the floodplain, or from induced recharge from the River Rheidol.

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Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Groundwater in the Celtic Regions: Studies in Hard Rock and Quaternary Hydrogeology

N. S. Robins
N. S. Robins
British Geological Survey, Wallingford, UK
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B. D. R. Misstear
B. D. R. Misstear
University of Dublin, Trinity College, Ireland
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Geological Society of London
Volume
182
ISBN electronic:
9781862394308
Publication date:
January 01, 2000

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