Hydrogeology Journal

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 799–812 | Cite as

Delineating spring recharge areas in a fractured sandstone aquifer (Luxembourg) based on pesticide mass balance

  • J. Farlin
  • L. Drouet
  • T. Gallé
  • D. Pittois
  • M. Bayerle
  • C. Braun
  • P. Maloszewski
  • J. Vanderborght
  • M. Elsner
  • A. Kies
Paper

Abstract

A simple method to delineate the recharge areas of a series of springs draining a fractured aquifer is presented. Instead of solving the flow and transport equations, the delineation is reformulated as a mass balance problem assigning arable land in proportion to the pesticide mass discharged annually in a spring at minimum total transport cost. The approach was applied to the Luxembourg Sandstone, a fractured-rock aquifer supplying half of the drinking water for Luxembourg, using the herbicide atrazine. Predictions of the recharge areas were most robust in situations of strong competition by neighbouring springs while the catchment boundaries for isolated springs were extremely sensitive to the parameter controlling flow direction. Validation using a different pesticide showed the best agreement with the simplest model used, whereas using historical crop-rotation data and spatially distributed soil-leaching data did not improve predictions. The whole approach presents the advantage of integrating objectively information on land use and pesticide concentration in spring water into the delineation of groundwater recharge zones in a fractured-rock aquifer.

Keywords

Spring protection zones Atrazine Luxembourg Fractured rock Groundwater pollution 

Délimitation de zones de recharge dans un aquifère gréseux fracturé (Luxembourg) basée sur le bilan massique de pesticides

Résumé

Une méthode simple pour définir des aires de recharge d’un ensemble de sources drainant un aquifère fracturé est présentée. Au lieu de résoudre les équations de l'écoulement et de tranport, la délimitation est reformulée comme un problème de bilan massique, assignant à la surface cultivable la masse de pesticide observée annuellement à la source en considérant le plus court chemin. L'approche a été appliquée au grès de Luxembourg, un aquifère fracturé fournissant la moitié de l'eau potable du Luxembourg, en utilisant l'herbicide atrazine. La prédiction des zones d'alimentation est apparue plus robuste lorsqu’elles sont en situation de forte concurrence dans le cas de sources voisines, tandis que les limites des bassins versants des sources isolées sont apparues extrêmement sensibles au paramètre contrôlant la direction de l’écoulement. Une validation à partir d’un autre pesticide a montré une bonne concordance avec le modèle utilisé le plus simple, alors que l’utilisation d’un historique de données de rotation des cultures et des données distribuées de lixiviation des sols n’a pas amélioré les prédictions. L’approche complète présente l’avantage d’intégrer objectivement les informations sur l’occupation du sol et les concentration en pesticide dans l’eau de la source dans la définition des zones de recharge d’un aquifère fracturé.

Delimitación de áreas de recarga de manantiales en un acuífero de areniscas fracturadas (Luxemburgo) basado en balances de masas de pesticidas

Resumen

Se presenta un método simple para delimitar las áreas de recarga de una serie de manantiales que drenan un acuífero fracturado. En lugar de resolver las ecuaciones de flujo y transporte, la delimitación se reformula como un problema de balance de masa asignando la tierra cultivable en proporción a la masa de pesticida descargada anualmente en un manantial del transporte total a un costo mínimo. El enfoque fue aplicado en la Arenisca Luxemburgo, un acuífero en roca fracturada que suministra la mitad de agua potable a Luxemburgo, usando el herbicida atrazina. Las predicciones de zonas de capturas fueron más robustas en situaciones de fuerte competencia entre manantiales vecinos mientras que los límites de la cuenca para manantiales aislados fueron extremadamente sensibles a los parámetros que controlan la dirección de flujo. La validación usando pesticidas diferentes mostraron una buena concordancia con el modelo más simple utilizado, mientras que el uso de datos históricos de rotación de cultivos y datos de lixiviación de suelos distribuidos espacialmente no mejoraron las predicciones. El enfoque presenta la ventaja de la integrar objetivamente la información del uso de la tierra y la concentración de pesticidas en el agua del manantial para la delimitación de las zonas de recarga en un acuífero de rocas fracturadas.

Delineação da zona de recarga de nascentes num aquífero de arenito fraturado (Luxemburgo) com base no balanço de massa de pesticidas

Resumo

Apresenta-se um método simples para a delineação de áreas de recarga de uma série de nascentes que drenam um aquífero fraturado. Em vez de resolver as equações de fluxo e transporte, a delineação é reformulada como um problema de balanço de massa, definindo a área de terreno arável proporcionalmente à massa de pesticida que é descarregada anualmente numa nascente, à custa de um transporte total mínimo. Esta metodologia foi aplicada no Arenito do Luxemburgo, que é um aquífero de rocha fraturada que fornece metade da água de abastecimento do Luxemburgo, usando o herbicida atrazina. As previsões em termos de zona de captura revelaram-se mais robustas em zonas onde há uma forte competição entre nascentes vizinhas, enquanto as fronteiras das bacias de nascentes isoladas se revelaram extremamente sensíveis ao parâmetro que controla a direção do fluxo subterrâneo. A validação, usando um pesticida diferente, revelou um bom ajuste com o modelo mais simples que foi usado, enquanto o uso de dados históricos de rotação de culturas e dados espacialmente distribuídos de percolação no solo não contribuíram para melhorar as previsões. A abordagem geral apresenta a vantagem de integrar objetivamente informação sobre o uso do solo e a concentração de pesticidas na água de nascentes na delineação de zonas de recarga de água subterrânea num aquífero fraturado.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge the funding of this work by the Luxembourg Research Fund (FNR, project SECAL/07/05). Partial support for the groundwater dating part was provided by the GENESIS project (EU no. 226536, FP7-ENV-2008-1).

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Farlin
    • 1
  • L. Drouet
    • 2
  • T. Gallé
    • 1
  • D. Pittois
    • 1
  • M. Bayerle
    • 1
  • C. Braun
    • 1
  • P. Maloszewski
    • 3
  • J. Vanderborght
    • 4
  • M. Elsner
    • 3
  • A. Kies
    • 5
  1. 1.CRP Henri Tudor, CRTEEsch-sur-AlzetteLuxembourg
  2. 2.Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM), Palazzo delle StellineMilanItaly
  3. 3.Institute for Groundwater EcologyHelmholtz ZentrumMunichGermany
  4. 4.Institute of Bio-and GeosciencesHelmholtz ZentrumJülichGermany
  5. 5.Physics DepartmentUniversity of LuxembourgLuxembourgLuxembourg

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