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Water 2014, 6(8), 2255-2277; doi:10.3390/w6082255
Article

Water Isotopes as Environmental Tracers for Conceptual Understanding of Groundwater Flow: An Application for Fractured Aquifer Systems in the “Scansano-Magliano in Toscana” Area (Southern Tuscany, Italy)

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Received: 7 May 2014 / Revised: 2 July 2014 / Accepted: 10 July 2014 / Published: 31 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Tracers)
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Abstract

TheScansano-Magliano in Toscana” area is characterized by a morpho-structure chiefly made-up by sandstone and shelly-calcareous lithologies. Generally, these complexes host minor aquifers in Tuscany, since they have medium to medium-low permeability. In the area under examination, a sandstone outcrop develops with continuity along the ridge of the structure for several kilometers and above a shelly substratum. Consequently, this hydrostructural context suggested the possibility that a significant groundwater body was hosted in the sandstones. In order to verify this assumption, an isotopic study was carried out taking into account several wells and springs sited on the sandstone outcrop and its surrounding area; the samples collected over a period of two years were analyzed to obtain δ18O‰, δ2H‰ and 3H. A study of the hydrostructural and morphological condition was also performed, and minor springs were selected. The analyses of this spring-water resulted in the characterization of the isotopic features of the infiltration water in the studied area, which represents a fundamental base of work for the interpretation of the data of groundwater points which drain long flow paths. By means of this approach, the groundwater framework was defined and the presence of a significant and continuous groundwater body within the sandstone complex was verified. A preliminary conceptual hydrogeological model was also proposed.
Keywords: groundwater exploration; groundwater flow systems; fractured aquifer; environmental tracer; water isotopes; Italy groundwater exploration; groundwater flow systems; fractured aquifer; environmental tracer; water isotopes; Italy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Doveri, M.; Mussi, M. Water Isotopes as Environmental Tracers for Conceptual Understanding of Groundwater Flow: An Application for Fractured Aquifer Systems in the “Scansano-Magliano in Toscana” Area (Southern Tuscany, Italy). Water 2014, 6, 2255-2277.

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