The modern water interface:: recognition, protection and development – advance of modern waters in European aquifer systems
K. Hinsby, W. M. Edmunds, H. H. Loosli, M. Manzano, M. T. Condesso De Melo, F. Barbecot, 2001. "The modern water interface:: recognition, protection and development – advance of modern waters in European aquifer systems", Palaeowaters in Coastal Europe: Evolution of Groundwater since the Late Pleistocene, W. M. Edmunds, C. J. Milne
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Modem groundwater that has recharged aquifers within the past 50 a shows the influence of humans globally, either by the presence of small concentrations of environmental tracers or in some cases by severe pollution. This study describes important environmental tracers (e.g. 3H, 85Kr, chlorofluorocarbons, SF6) and contaminants (e.g. NO3−, pesticides, chlorinated solvents) for modem groundwater dating and recognition of human impacts. Some applications of the described tracers in aquifers investigated in the PALAEAUX study are presented in order to illustrate the advance of modem waters in European aquifer systems. The study shows that the location of the modern water interface varies within a range of between c. 10 and c. 100 m in the investigated aquifers due to variations in hydrogeological setting, climate and exploitation of the groundwater resource. The subsurface distribution of the modem water indicators and contaminants demonstrate that the advance of modem groundwaters and the fate of harmful substances in them have important implications for protection and development of the water resources. Contaminants that do not degrade or degrade only very slowly will advance further into the aquifers and may eventually contaminate even deep groundwater systems.
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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.