Managed aquifer recharge and sedimentological characterization within the complex esker deposits in Pälkäne, Finland

Original Article


It is proposed to construct a managed aquifer recharge (MAR) plant (capacity of 70,000 m3/day) to provide potable water for over 300,000 inhabitants in Tampere and Valkeakoski region in Southern Finland. The plant includes the infiltration of surface water in a Quaternary glaciofluvial ridge (esker) with subsequent withdrawal of the water from downstream wells. We present the sedimentological characterization and rearranged MAR design of the 3 km long unconfined esker aquifer in Pälkäne (capacity of 20,000 m3/day) that were needed to overcome the effect of discontinuities in the hydraulic connections along the Taustiala bedrock threshold as implied by a non-operational preliminary one-layer groundwater flow model. A more detailed sedimentological characterization was obtained by ground penetrating radar and a tracer test indicating flow paths and residence times of the infiltrated water. Four main hydrogeological units were distinguished. The bedrock threshold divides the groundwater flow into two preferred flow paths. The sedimentological interpretation was applied to determine the variation of hydraulic conductivities for the new seven-layer groundwater flow modeling. Sedimentological information together with hydrogeological studies was used in designing the sites and capacities for infiltration and withdrawal.


Managed aquifer recharge Esker Aquifer Sedimentology Ground penetrating radar Depositional model Hydrogeology Groundwater flow model 



We thank the personnel of the groundwater department at Pöyry Finland Ltd. for co-operation during the test trials and reporting and for preparation of maps. We also thank Suvi Rinne (FCG Ltd.) for preparation of maps.

Author contributions

JM did the sedimentological characterization and is the main writer of the paper; EK and PJ provided the information and expertise on MAR design, groundwater investigations, and flow modeling.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest. The founding sponsors had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, and in the decision to publish the results.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and GeologyUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland
  2. 2.Sito Ltd.EspooFinland
  3. 3.Tavase Ltd.TampereFinland

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