Groundwater in karst aquifers is frequently tapped for drinking purposes, due to frequent huge volumes of resources. Unfortunately, vulnerability of these aquifers can be high, due to possible fast transfer of recharge water on springs by the karst network. On Gran Sasso Mountain regional aquifer, several springs are subjected to drinking withdrawal and an updated evaluation of their potential is now a fundamental issue to be considered, facing climate change effects, which reflect on variation of discharge regimen and values. To distinguish between different contribution of spring recharge, a tracer test has been carried out on the Vitella d’Oro spring, fed both by the regional aquifer and by a local system exposed to karst features developed in the Rigopiano Conglomerates formation. Thanks to hydrogeological, hydrogeochemical and isotopic data, a conceptual model of spring recharge has been proposed and subsequently validated by the tracer test results. All information confirms the superimposition on the regional base flow, by a relevant contribution of the karst network, influencing the spring discharge in recharge periods. In detail, a fast flow component is responsible for discharge peaks and frequently of turbidity events, having a mean velocity ranging from 30 to 70 m/h in the aquifer. Besides of this fast flow, an additional aliquot of the recharge is due to the same local aquifer, but slower flow clearly identifiable by hydrochemistry and isotopic data. Thanks to these findings, a renewed management of the spring has been suggested, considering the different degrees of aquifer vulnerability (turbidity occurrence) directly related to the discharge regimen.

Tracking flowpaths in a complex karst system through tracer test and hydrogeochemical monitoring: Implications for groundwater protection (Gran Sasso, Italy)

Rusi, S.;
2024-01-01

Abstract

Groundwater in karst aquifers is frequently tapped for drinking purposes, due to frequent huge volumes of resources. Unfortunately, vulnerability of these aquifers can be high, due to possible fast transfer of recharge water on springs by the karst network. On Gran Sasso Mountain regional aquifer, several springs are subjected to drinking withdrawal and an updated evaluation of their potential is now a fundamental issue to be considered, facing climate change effects, which reflect on variation of discharge regimen and values. To distinguish between different contribution of spring recharge, a tracer test has been carried out on the Vitella d’Oro spring, fed both by the regional aquifer and by a local system exposed to karst features developed in the Rigopiano Conglomerates formation. Thanks to hydrogeological, hydrogeochemical and isotopic data, a conceptual model of spring recharge has been proposed and subsequently validated by the tracer test results. All information confirms the superimposition on the regional base flow, by a relevant contribution of the karst network, influencing the spring discharge in recharge periods. In detail, a fast flow component is responsible for discharge peaks and frequently of turbidity events, having a mean velocity ranging from 30 to 70 m/h in the aquifer. Besides of this fast flow, an additional aliquot of the recharge is due to the same local aquifer, but slower flow clearly identifiable by hydrochemistry and isotopic data. Thanks to these findings, a renewed management of the spring has been suggested, considering the different degrees of aquifer vulnerability (turbidity occurrence) directly related to the discharge regimen.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/823117
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