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Groundwater Temperature as an Indicator of the Vulnerability of Karst Coastal Aquifers

1
Department of Civil, Environmental, Land, Building Engineering & Chemistry, Polytechnic University of Bari, Via Orabona 4, 70125 Bari, Italy
2
Department of Biology and Geology, University of Almeria (Spain), Ctra. Sacramento, s/n, La Cañada de San Urbano, 04120 Almeria, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010023
Received: 11 December 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 24 December 2018 / Published: 30 December 2018
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Abstract

Coastal karst aquifers show a three-dimensional vulnerability, which consists of the whole of the “intrinsic vulnerability” and the “groundwater vulnerability to seawater intrusion”. The results of a study carried out in the Salento karst coastal aquifer (southern Italy) show that temperature, as well as being a reliable tracer of groundwater flow, is also an effective indicator of vulnerability in anisotropic media. The trend of isotherms related to a cross-section of the aquifer thermal field, combined with geological, geomorphological, and hydrogeological information, allows the role of faults and dolines in the mass transport from ground surface to be inferred. Isotherm trends may also give information on the permeability distribution along faults. A specific temperature value evidence the saltwater top, thus indicating the groundwater vulnerability to salinization. View Full-Text
Keywords: karst; karst coastal aquifer; vulnerability; seawater intrusion; temperature; doline; fault; water level; monitoring Salento karst; karst coastal aquifer; vulnerability; seawater intrusion; temperature; doline; fault; water level; monitoring Salento
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Fidelibus, M.D.; Pulido-Bosch, A. Groundwater Temperature as an Indicator of the Vulnerability of Karst Coastal Aquifers. Geosciences 2019, 9, 23.

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