An evaluation of aquifer vulnerability in two nitrate sensitive areas of Catalonia (NE Spain) based on electrical resistivity methods
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The protection of groundwater has become one of the most important European environmental policies as evidenced by the Orders relating to the protection of water from contamination, Directive 2000/60/CE of the European Parliament and the European Union Council, and more concretely Directive 2006/118/118/CE, related to the protection of groundwater from pollution and degradation. Traditional methods for assessing vulnerability include soil surveys, drilling and analysis of lithology logs from wells with the objective of characterising the thickness, hydraulic properties and lateral extend of the protective layers. However, such studies can be labour-intensive and expensive. In addition, the parameters measured may have high spatial variability, which makes accurate characterization over large areas difficult. Fortunately, a numerical index of protection can be assigned from the longitudinal electrical conductance parameter derived from electrical resistivity surveys (VES, ERT or any other electrical or EM method). This can be more accurate and reliable than any other vulnerability index derived only from visual inspection or interpolated from sparse borehole data.
KeywordsVulnerability mapping Groundwater pollution Hydrogeophysics Electrical resistivity methods Catalonia (NE Spain)
This work was partially supported by the Spanish Ministry for Science and Innovation through the research project “Relationships between hydrogeological and geophysical parameters for assessing aquifer vulnerability” (CGL2009-07025) and the project “Waste water treatment and reuse for a sustainable management, TRAGUA” (CSD2006-00044) in the framework of the Consolider programme.
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