With water shortages becoming increasinglycommon globally, there is a need forincreasingly sophisticated methods oflocating groundwater reservoirs in more complex environments. High-resolution sequence stratigraphy, long used in the oil industry offers the prospect of a new tool for hydrogeological exploration. Recent exploration for groundwater in the Late Palaeogene and Neogene fore-arc basins of northern Chile in the Atacama Desert is used as an example of the application of this technique. The analysis of a second order sequence spanning the continental Early Oligocene to Miocene sediments and volcanics of the Calama and Turi Basins allows the identification of two aquifers separated by an aquiclude and provides valuable insight into reservoir properties and preferential flow paths within the aquifers, which can be matched with the results of pumping tests.

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