Introduction to Water Circulation in Rocks
Water circulation in rocks is a very important element in the solution of quite typical problems arising in environmental, civil and mining engineering. Still, aquifers in rocks are devoted much less attention than those in porous media, partly because they are considered less important from the point of view of water research, and partly because rocks are a very complex medium; therefore its modelization is quite complex. Actually, the presence of fractures plays a fundamental role in the hydrogeological characterization of rock masses; it determines an increase in hydraulic conductivity of different magnitude along the main direction of the fractures. A further aspect, fundamental but very difficult to represent, is the presence of local strips of rock alteration on the land surface that strongly influence both the infiltration process following meteorological events and the supply of deeper aquifers.