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Article

Hydrochemical, Isotopic, and Geophysical Studies Applied to the Evaluation of Groundwater Salinization Processes in Quaternary Beach Ridges in a Semiarid Coastal Area of Northern Patagonia, Argentina

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Centro de Investigaciones Geológicas (CIG), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, La Plata 1900, Argentina
2
Centro de Investigaciones y Transferencia del Noroeste de la Provincia de Buenos Aires (CITNOBA), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Universidad Nacional Noreste de Buenos Aires, Pergamino 2700, Argentina
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Instituto Patagónico para el Estudio de los Ecosistemas Continentales (IPEEC), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan Bosco, Puerto Madryn 9120, Argentina
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Instituto Patagónico de Geología y Paleontología (IPGP-CONICET), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan Bosco, Puerto Madryn 9120, Argentina
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Nicolò Colombani
Water 2021, 13(24), 3509; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243509
Received: 27 October 2021 / Revised: 24 November 2021 / Accepted: 6 December 2021 / Published: 8 December 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Salinization of Water Resources: Ongoing and Future Trends)
Quaternary sea level fluctuations have led to the development of beach ridges on many South Atlantic coasts. The objective of this paper was to asses from lithological, hydrochemical, isotopic, and geophysical studies the salinization processes affecting groundwater stored in Pleistocene and Holocene beach ridges of the northern Patagonian coast. A hydrogeomorphological characterization of the area was performed using digital elevation models, the interpretation of satellite images, and field studies. Vertical electrical soundings were performed on transects running perpendicular to beach ridges in order to define variations in the freshwater-saltwater interface position. The salinity, chemistry, and stable isotopes of the groundwater were analyzed. The results demonstrated that the groundwater salinization of Pleistocene ridges responds to processes associated with the geological-geomorphological evolution of the area. The cementation of these surface sediments limits rainwater infiltration, which consequently prevents the development of freshwater lenses. This suggests that saline water is the result of ancient marine ingressions. Freshwater lenses develop in Holocene beach ridges; however, slight water salinization is detectable in the most populated areas as a result of intensive exploitation. The data provided are useful for freshwater resource prospection along the arid coast of Patagonia, where beach ridge deposits abound and populations experience serious drinking water supply problems. View Full-Text
Keywords: freshwater lenses; vertical electric soundings; water resources; groundwater; semi-arid zone freshwater lenses; vertical electric soundings; water resources; groundwater; semi-arid zone
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MDPI and ACS Style

Carol, E.; Perdomo, S.; Álvarez, M.d.P.; Tanjal, C.; Bouza, P. Hydrochemical, Isotopic, and Geophysical Studies Applied to the Evaluation of Groundwater Salinization Processes in Quaternary Beach Ridges in a Semiarid Coastal Area of Northern Patagonia, Argentina. Water 2021, 13, 3509. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243509

AMA Style

Carol E, Perdomo S, Álvarez MdP, Tanjal C, Bouza P. Hydrochemical, Isotopic, and Geophysical Studies Applied to the Evaluation of Groundwater Salinization Processes in Quaternary Beach Ridges in a Semiarid Coastal Area of Northern Patagonia, Argentina. Water. 2021; 13(24):3509. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243509

Chicago/Turabian Style

Carol, Eleonora, Santiago Perdomo, María d.P. Álvarez, Carolina Tanjal, and Pablo Bouza. 2021. "Hydrochemical, Isotopic, and Geophysical Studies Applied to the Evaluation of Groundwater Salinization Processes in Quaternary Beach Ridges in a Semiarid Coastal Area of Northern Patagonia, Argentina" Water 13, no. 24: 3509. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243509

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