, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 173-181

Groundwater use for snow melting on the road

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Abstract

Groundwater use for snow melting on the road began in Nagooka in 1961. Thereafter the shosetsu (snow melting) pipe system using the heat energy of groundwater spread rapidly all over Japan except for Hokkaido. The total length of the shosetsu pipe comprised 571 km in 1977. A preferable range of groundwater temperatures for the shosetsu pipe is from 8° to 18°C, which corresponds to the groundwater temperature in Japan. The actual condition of groundwater use for the shosetsu pipe has been investigated in Nagaoka, where groundwater pumping in total amounts to 5 x 105 m3/day in the heavy snow season. The use of groundwater for shosetsu pipe in Nagaoka is confronted with two serious problems to be overcome. They are land subsidence and competition with other groundwater uses. For purposes of making clear the mechanism of groundwater recharge and of seeking means of groundwater management for the Nagaoka groundwater basin, a digital simulation of groundwater flow was made by using the horizontal two-dimensional model. The results are satisfactory and reveal that one of the main sources of recharge is the Shinano River which flows through the city. The simulation will be a useful means in considering a future plan of groundwater management.