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Article

Delineation of a Quaternary Aquifer Using Integrated Hydrogeological and Geophysical Estimation of Hydraulic Conductivity on the Tibetan Plateau, China

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Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Environmental Physics in Civil Engineering, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Appelstr. 9A, 30167 Hannover, Germany
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Institute for Geophysics and Extraterrestrial Physics, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Mendelssohnstr. 3, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany
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Institute of Soil Science, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Herrenhäuser Str. 2, 30419 Hannover, Germany
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Key Laboratory of Tibetan Environment Changes and Land Surface Processes, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
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Institute of Geosystems and Bioindication, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Langer Kamp 19C, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Francesco Fiorillo
Water 2021, 13(10), 1412; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13101412
Received: 30 March 2021 / Revised: 12 May 2021 / Accepted: 13 May 2021 / Published: 18 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology)
Groundwater is the most unexplored element of the hydrologic cycle on the Tibetan Plateau (TP) due to harsh climate conditions. This study aims at delineating and characterizing the unexplored Zhanongtang–Ganmanong aquifer, situated in the Zhagu subcatchment of the Nam Co catchment, south-central TP. Multiple hydrogeophysical and lithological in situ field and laboratory methods are applied: depth-to-water-table measurements, grain size analysis, hydraulic empirical and field methods to estimate hydraulic conductivity (K), and analysis of electrical resistivity tomography profiles. Integration of these methods revealed the existence of a Quaternary hydrostratigraphic unit that was found to be unconsolidated, laterally heterogeneous and homogeneous over depth. The results revealed consistent K ranges of three K zones, which is in accordance with local lithology. The K ranges are applicable to other locations within the Nam Co catchment with similar lithology as in the study area without further field experiments. Permafrost was found to be absent in the study area ranging from 4730 m a.s.l. to 5200 m a.s.l. altitude. These results provide insight into the hydrogeological conditions of the TP and are useful for conceptual and numerical groundwater flow modeling to predict future changes of water fluxes and water budgets caused by climatic change, especially in remote areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: Tibetan Plateau; hydrostratigraphy; geophysical methods; hydraulic conductivity; groundwater exploration; aquifer; grain size analysis Tibetan Plateau; hydrostratigraphy; geophysical methods; hydraulic conductivity; groundwater exploration; aquifer; grain size analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tran, T.V.; Buckel, J.; Maurischat, P.; Tang, H.; Yu, Z.; Hördt, A.; Guggenberger, G.; Zhang, F.; Schwalb, A.; Graf, T. Delineation of a Quaternary Aquifer Using Integrated Hydrogeological and Geophysical Estimation of Hydraulic Conductivity on the Tibetan Plateau, China. Water 2021, 13, 1412. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13101412

AMA Style

Tran TV, Buckel J, Maurischat P, Tang H, Yu Z, Hördt A, Guggenberger G, Zhang F, Schwalb A, Graf T. Delineation of a Quaternary Aquifer Using Integrated Hydrogeological and Geophysical Estimation of Hydraulic Conductivity on the Tibetan Plateau, China. Water. 2021; 13(10):1412. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13101412

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tran, Tuong V., Johannes Buckel, Philipp Maurischat, Handuo Tang, Zhengliang Yu, Andreas Hördt, Georg Guggenberger, Fan Zhang, Antje Schwalb, and Thomas Graf. 2021. "Delineation of a Quaternary Aquifer Using Integrated Hydrogeological and Geophysical Estimation of Hydraulic Conductivity on the Tibetan Plateau, China" Water 13, no. 10: 1412. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13101412

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