Palaeowaters from the Glatt Valley, Switzerland
R. Purtschert, U. Beyerle, W. Aeschbach-Hertig, R. Kipfer, H. H. Loosli, 2001. "Palaeowaters from the Glatt Valley, Switzerland", Palaeowaters in Coastal Europe: Evolution of Groundwater since the Late Pleistocene, W. M. Edmunds, C. J. Milne
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Isotopic and noble gas data from a confined gravel aquifer in the Swiss Plateau has been investigated. From glaciomorphological studies it is well known that the Glatt Valley was repeatedly ice covered during the last glacial period. Corrected radiocarbon ages range from 0 to > 28 ka bp and reveal a gap of between 25 and 17 ka Be, indicating an interruption of groundwater recharge during the last glacial maximum. Based on 39Ar measurements, a contribution of younger water components with residence times of a few hundred years have been identified in some waters. Recharge temperatures, estimated by analysis of noble gas contents, suggest a temperature difference of c. 5°C at the Holocene–Pleistocene transition at 12 ka bp. The long-term temporal 5180-recharge temperature relation over the last 30 ka has a slope of c. 0.49‰ °C−1, consistent with the modern seasonal relation.
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Palaeowaters in Coastal Europe contains 17 contributions from an international array of authors. They discuss the history of groundwater evolution during the late Pleistocene in the coastal areas of Europe from the Baltic region to the Iberian peninsula and the Canary Islands. Geochemical and geophysical techniques for evaluating palaeowaters are reviewed. The focus of the book is on changes in the hydrogeological regime during the Quaternary and their impacts on groundwater movement and chemistry in European coastal aquifers.
The work summarized in the papers was carried out by a partnership of European scientists under the auspices of the PALAEAUX project, an EC initiative. Researchers from the fields of hydrogeology, geochemistry, isotope hydrology and Quaternary studies attempted to reconstruct the most probable movement of groundwater in the study area over the past 100 000 years and its response to climatic events of global significance during the last glacial cycle. The results of this work, summarized in this volume, allow a better understanding of the water resources found at and near the coastlines of northern and western Europe. During times of lowered sea level, it appears that groundwaters were replenished to depths greater than occur at the present day. These pristine freshwater reserves are an irreplaceable asset. Their location at coastlines where populations and water demands are high and often seasonal means that they need careful management to avoid over-exploitation or contamination. The inevitable conflicts that this resource management creates are discussed.
Palaeowaters in Coastal Europe: evolution of groundwater since the late Pleistocene will be of interest to Quarternary scientists, hydrogeologists, marine scientists engaged in coastal research and those involved in environmental science and the management of groundwater assests.