Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 5307–5321 | Cite as

Large scale groundwater flow and hexavalent chromium transport modeling under current and future climatic conditions: the case of Asopos River Basin

  • Zoi Dokou
  • Vasiliki Karagiorgi
  • George P. Karatzas
  • Nikolaos P. Nikolaidis
  • Nicolas Kalogerakis
Research Article


In recent years, high concentrations of hexavalent chromium, Cr(VI), have been observed in the groundwater system of the Asopos River Basin, raising public concern regarding the quality of drinking and irrigation water. The work described herein focuses on the development of a groundwater flow and Cr(VI) transport model using hydrologic, geologic, and water quality data collected from various sources. An important dataset for this goal comprised an extensive time series of Cr(VI) concentrations at various locations that provided an indication of areas of high concentration and also served as model calibration locations. Two main sources of Cr(VI) contamination were considered in the area: anthropogenic contamination originating from Cr-rich industrial wastes buried or injected into the aquifer and geogenic contamination from the leaching process of ophiolitic rocks. The aquifer’s response under climatic change scenario A2 was also investigated for the next two decades. Under this scenario, it is expected that rainfall, and thus infiltration, will decrease by 7.7 % during the winter and 15 % during the summer periods. The results for two sub-scenarios (linear and variable precipitation reduction) that were implemented based on A2 show that the impact on the study aquifer is moderate, resulting in a mean level decrease less than 1 m in both cases. The drier climatic conditions resulted in higher Cr(VI) concentrations, especially around the industrial areas.


Hexavalent chromium Ophiolithic rocks Groundwater modeling Climate change Asopos River Basin Heavy metals 



This work was co-funded by the European Union in the LIFE10 ENV/GR/000601 project: CHARM —Chromium in Asopos Groundwater System: Remediation Technologies and Measures. The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive suggestions that greatly improved the original version of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

11356_2015_5771_Fig10_ESM.gif (29 kb)
Figure S1

Calibrated hydraulic conductivity values (m/d). (GIF 29 kb)

11356_2015_5771_MOESM1_ESM.tif (148 kb)
High resolution image (TIF 147 kb)
11356_2015_5771_Fig11_ESM.gif (48 kb)
Figure S2

Hydraulic head map created using kriging interpolation in GIS for comparison reasons. (GIF 47 kb)

11356_2015_5771_MOESM2_ESM.tif (408 kb)
High resolution image (TIF 407 kb)
11356_2015_5771_Fig12_ESM.gif (14 kb)
Figure S3

Temporal variability of hydraulic heads (in m) for three selected wells (GW444, G117 and G83). (GIF 14 kb)

11356_2015_5771_MOESM3_ESM.tif (35 kb)
High resolution image (TIF 35 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zoi Dokou
    • 1
  • Vasiliki Karagiorgi
    • 1
  • George P. Karatzas
    • 1
  • Nikolaos P. Nikolaidis
    • 1
  • Nicolas Kalogerakis
    • 1
  1. 1.Technical University of Crete, School of Environmental EngineeringUniversity CampusChaniaGreece

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