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Water 2015, 7(9), 4638-4656; doi:10.3390/w7094638

A Multi-Scale Approach in Hydraulic Characterization of a Metamorphic Aquifer: What Can Be Inferred about the Groundwater Abstraction Possibilities

1
Department of Ecological and Biological Sciences, University of Tuscia, Viterbo 01100, Italy
2
Department of Physics and Geology, University of Perugia, Perugia 06100, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: David Kreamer
Received: 10 July 2015 / Accepted: 20 August 2015 / Published: 27 August 2015
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Abstract

Hard-rock aquifers, which constitute a water supply source in many countries, are highly heterogeneous and defining a realistic model of an aquifer can be extremely complex. The objective of this study was to hydraulically characterize a metamorphic aquifer in a representative area of Italy and to identify the most appropriate approach for tapping of groundwater in this challenging environment. The results of surface fracture surveys, injection tests, pumping tests, and a simplified numerical model were compared. From the surface fracture survey, a model of the rock mass characterized by a well-developed discontinuity network and by a high frequency of discontinuities resulted. The injection tests showed the extreme heterogeneity and the lower hydraulic conductivity of the rock mass in comparison with the results of the pumping tests. The independent estimate of the hydraulic parameter resulting from numerical model highlighted a range of values higher than those resulting from the pumping tests. The study demonstrated that the continuum medium approach can be used in the case of hard-rock aquifers with a dense network of discontinuities. The multi-scale approach is recommended for investigating hydraulic heterogeneity and significantly helps to identify the most promising areas for well locations and their characteristics in relation to the style of fracturing. View Full-Text
Keywords: hard-rock aquifers; hydraulic properties; aquifer heterogeneity; numerical modeling; Italy hard-rock aquifers; hydraulic properties; aquifer heterogeneity; numerical modeling; 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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Baiocchi, A.; Dragoni, W.; Lotti, F.; Piacentini, S.M.; Piscopo, V. A Multi-Scale Approach in Hydraulic Characterization of a Metamorphic Aquifer: What Can Be Inferred about the Groundwater Abstraction Possibilities. Water 2015, 7, 4638-4656.

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