We review scale dependence of hydraulic conductivities and effective porosities for prediction of contaminant transport in four UK karst aquifers. Approaches for obtaining hydraulic parameters include core plug, slug, pumping and pulse tests, calibration of groundwater flow models and spring recession curves. Core plug and slug tests are unsuitable because they do not characterize a large enough volume to include a representative fracture network. Pumping test values match regional-scale hydraulic conductivities from flow modelling for the less intensively karstified aquifers: Magnesian Limestone, Jurassic Limestone and Cretaceous Chalks. Reliable bulk hydraulic conductivities were not available for the intensively karstified Carboniferous Limestone due to dominance of flow through pipe conduits in Mendips. Here, the only hydraulic conductivity value found from spring recession is one order of magnitude higher than that indicated by pumping tests. For all four carbonate aquifers, effective porosities assumed for transport modelling are two orders of magnitude higher than those found from tracer and hydrogeophysical tests. Thus, a combination of low hydraulic conductivities and assumed flowing porosities resulted in underestimated flow velocities. The UK karst aquifers are characterized by a range of hydraulic behaviours that fit those of karst aquifers worldwide. Indeed, underestimation of flow velocity due to inappropriate parameter selection is common to intensively karstified aquifers of southern France, north-western Germany and Italy. Similar issues arise for the Canadian Silurian carbonates where the use of high effective porosities (e.g. 5%) in transport models leads to underestimation of groundwater velocities. We recommend values in the range of 0.01–1% for such aquifers.

Groundwater flow velocities in karst aquifers; importance of spatial observation scale and hydraulic testing for contaminant transport prediction / Medici, G; West, L. J.. - In: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLLUTION RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL. - ISSN 0944-1344. - 28:32(2021), pp. 43050-43063. [10.1007/s11356-021-14840-3]

Groundwater flow velocities in karst aquifers; importance of spatial observation scale and hydraulic testing for contaminant transport prediction

Medici G
;
2021

Abstract

We review scale dependence of hydraulic conductivities and effective porosities for prediction of contaminant transport in four UK karst aquifers. Approaches for obtaining hydraulic parameters include core plug, slug, pumping and pulse tests, calibration of groundwater flow models and spring recession curves. Core plug and slug tests are unsuitable because they do not characterize a large enough volume to include a representative fracture network. Pumping test values match regional-scale hydraulic conductivities from flow modelling for the less intensively karstified aquifers: Magnesian Limestone, Jurassic Limestone and Cretaceous Chalks. Reliable bulk hydraulic conductivities were not available for the intensively karstified Carboniferous Limestone due to dominance of flow through pipe conduits in Mendips. Here, the only hydraulic conductivity value found from spring recession is one order of magnitude higher than that indicated by pumping tests. For all four carbonate aquifers, effective porosities assumed for transport modelling are two orders of magnitude higher than those found from tracer and hydrogeophysical tests. Thus, a combination of low hydraulic conductivities and assumed flowing porosities resulted in underestimated flow velocities. The UK karst aquifers are characterized by a range of hydraulic behaviours that fit those of karst aquifers worldwide. Indeed, underestimation of flow velocity due to inappropriate parameter selection is common to intensively karstified aquifers of southern France, north-western Germany and Italy. Similar issues arise for the Canadian Silurian carbonates where the use of high effective porosities (e.g. 5%) in transport models leads to underestimation of groundwater velocities. We recommend values in the range of 0.01–1% for such aquifers.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1657530
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