Furthermore, no information is available regarding the relationships between piezometric levels when significant compartmentalization occurs due to the occurrence of low-flow fault zones. The aim of this study was to refine the conceptualization of subsurface flow in faulted carbonate aquifers and to analyse relationships between sub-basins within a compartmentalized aquifer system in Southern Italy. The interactions between compartments that straddle low-flow faults were investigated over four hydrologic years using a statistical approach to compare (i) the hydraulic heads within two wells located up- and down-gradient of tectonic discontinuities as well as (ii) the rainfall and piezometric levels. The results of this study suggest that a set of barriers exists between the wells, and, therefore, the total head loss observed between the wells (approximately 80 m) should be distributed across several aquitards, with one aquitard exhibiting a relatively high permeability or low degree of integrity. Due to slight differences in permeability, transient conditions in aquitards can occur over relatively short periods, which is in agreement with the results of the statistical data analysis. Consequently, rather than being caused by pure aquitards, aquifer system compartmentalization likely results from slight differences in the permeability between lower-permeability fault zones and adjacent higher-permeability protoliths.
|Titolo:||The effect of low-permeability fault zones on groundwater flow in a compartmentalized system. Experimental evidence from a carbonate aquifer (Southern Italy)|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|