Contributory area definition for groundwater source protection and hazard mitigation in carbonate aquifers
Published:January 01, 2007
J. Gunn, 2007. "Contributory area definition for groundwater source protection and hazard mitigation in carbonate aquifers", Natural and Anthropogenic Hazards in Karst Areas: Recognition, Analysis and Mitigation, M. Parise, J. Gunn
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Carbonate aquifers provide important sources of potable water but are known to be particularly prone to pollution owing to rapid transfer of pollutants from the surface to springs or boreholes. Source protection zones and groundwater vulnerability maps are commonly used to mitigate against the pollution hazard but cannot be applied simplistically to carbonate aquifers, which are usually highly heterogeneous with overlapping groundwater divides that may vary with water levels. Divergent flow and disjunct contributory areas provide further complexity. Under these conditions, water-tracing experiments, repeated under different flow conditions, are the only tool capable of identifying those areas that contribute recharge to a particular source. Examples of water pollution affecting disjunct and overlapping source contributory areas are presented from the Waitomo area (New Zealand), Cuilcagh Mountain (Ireland) and the Peak District (UK). Source protection zones (SPZ), that have been defined by the Environment Agency in the Buxton area of the Peak District using equivalent porous medium models, are shown to be deficient. Further water-tracing experiments are essential if carbonate aquifers are to be adequately protected from pollution.
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Natural and Anthropogenic Hazards in Karst Areas: Recognition, Analysis and Mitigation
The book presents an overview of the main hazards affecting karst, including collapse and subsidence phenomena, hydrological hazards and human-induced geohazards. Consideration is also given to the problems of geohazard management in karst. The geological and hydrological properties of karst terrains make them among the most fragile in the world and pose serious problems for land managers. Sustainable development in these terrains requires efforts to limit geohazards of anthropogenic origin and to recognize and mitigate against those of natural origin. Aimed at providing the reader with worldwide case studies, the contributions cover a range of geological and morphological settings. Geographically, the fourteen papers discuss very different karst areas, from North America, the Caribbean and Asia to several karst areas in Europe, including the British Isles, Spain, France and Italy.