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Water 2015, 7(6), 2555-2574; doi:10.3390/w7062555

Estimating Natural Recharge by Means of Chloride Mass Balance in a Volcanic Aquifer: Northeastern Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, Spain)

1
Departamento Física (GEOVOL), Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Campus Universitario de Tafira, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria ES-35017, Spain
2
Groundwater Hydrology Group, Department of Geo-Engineering, Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), Jordi Girona, 1–3, Barcelona 08034, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Miklas Scholz
Received: 9 April 2015 / Accepted: 19 May 2015 / Published: 27 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Study, Development and Management of Water in Volcanic Areas)
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Abstract

The chloride mass balance method was used to estimate the average diffuse groundwater recharge on northeastern Gran Canaria (Canary Islands), where the largest recharge to the volcanic island aquifer occurs. Rainwater was sampled monthly in ten rainwater collectors to determine the bulk deposition rate of chloride for the 2008–2014 period. Average chloride deposition decreases inwardly from more than 10 g·m−2·year−1 to about 4 g·m−2·year−1. The application of the chloride mass balance method resulted in an estimated average recharge of about 28 hm3/year or 92 mm/year (24% of precipitation) in the study area after subtracting chloride loss with surface runoff. The average storm runoff was estimated to be 12 hm3/year (9% of precipitation) for the 1980–2014 period. Runoff was sampled during scarce rainy periods, which produce surface water flow. Average recharge varies from less than a few mm/year near the coast up to 270 mm/year in the highlands (about 33% of average rainfall), with a close-to-linear increase inwardly of about 18 mm·year−1·km−1. Recharge rate uncertainty corresponds to an estimated CV of 0.3–0.4 because of the short data series available. View Full-Text
Keywords: recharge; volcanic aquifer; chloride mass balance; Gran Canaria Island recharge; volcanic aquifer; chloride mass balance; Gran Canaria Island
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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Naranjo, G.; Cruz-Fuentes, T.; Cabrera, M.C.; Custodio, E. Estimating Natural Recharge by Means of Chloride Mass Balance in a Volcanic Aquifer: Northeastern Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, Spain). Water 2015, 7, 2555-2574.

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