Special Issue "Groundwater Quality and Groundwater Vulnerability Assessment"

A special issue of Environments (ISSN 2076-3298).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Konstantinos Voudouris

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 00302310998519
Interests: Aquifer Vulnerability, Groundwater management, Water quality, Simulation of water flow, Water supply technologies
Guest Editor
Dr. Nerantzis Kazakis

Department of Geology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
Website | E-Mail
Interests: groundwater modelling; groundwater vulnerability assessment; hydrogeochemistry; hydrogeophysics; isotope hydrology; management of aquifer recharge; water resources management; floods; climate change impacts on water resources

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Groundwater resources are under intense anthropogenic pressures and constant threat of pollution. Human activities, such as agriculture, urbanization and industry, have caused irreversible degradation of groundwater quality; therefore, prevention is the most appropriate strategy in the fight against groundwater pollution. Vulnerability and pollution risk maps of groundwater constitute important tools for groundwater management and protection. Groundwater vulnerability is divided into specific vulnerability and intrinsic vulnerability. Intrinsic vulnerability of an aquifer can be defined as the ease with which a contaminant introduced onto the ground surface can reach and diffuse in groundwater. Specific vulnerability is used to define the vulnerability of groundwater to particular contaminants or a group of contaminants by taking into account the contaminants’ physicochemical properties and their relationships. Groundwater pollution risk can be defined as the process of estimating the possibility that a particular event may occur under a given set of circumstances and the assessment is achieved by overlaying hazard and vulnerability.

This Special Issue will focus on exploring application of groundwater vulnerability and pollution risk assessment in porous, karst and fissured rock aquifers located in coastal and inland zones. We invite the interested hydrogeologists and other researchers from the related fields to contribute high-quality original research as well as review articles in the stated issue.

Dr. Kostas Voudouris
Dr. Nerantzis Kazakis
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Environments is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Intrinsic and Specific Vulnerability
  • Pollution risk
  • Coastal Aquifers
  • Karst and Fissured rock aquifers
  • GIS environment
  • Water quality indices
  • Statistical analysis
  • Simulation models

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
An Open Source GIS-Based Application for the Assessment of Groundwater Vulnerability to Pollution
Environments 2019, 6(7), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6070086
Received: 27 June 2019 / Revised: 15 July 2019 / Accepted: 19 July 2019 / Published: 21 July 2019
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Abstract
Groundwater is a crucial natural resource for regular socio-economic function. Groundwater vulnerability to pollution can be assessed through Geographical Information System (GIS)-based qualitative methods. GIS-based tools, dedicated to the assessment of groundwater vulnerability, usually present several limitations, such as high cost, unavailable code, [...] Read more.
Groundwater is a crucial natural resource for regular socio-economic function. Groundwater vulnerability to pollution can be assessed through Geographical Information System (GIS)-based qualitative methods. GIS-based tools, dedicated to the assessment of groundwater vulnerability, usually present several limitations, such as high cost, unavailable code, and a lack of functionality concerning the flexible application of vulnerability indices and vulnerability map comparison. The objective of this work was to create a new GIS-based open source application for groundwater vulnerability assessment, GVTool, developed using QGIS software, with the capability of creating and comparing groundwater vulnerability maps considering four different methods: DRASTIC, GOD, SINTACS, and Susceptibility Index (SI). This application incorporates features from a previous tool, DRASTIC Model, and new functionalities were included, namely three additional vulnerability assessment methods, map comparative analysis, map statistics, and index interval reclassification and symbology definition. The GVTool functionalities and capabilities are illustrated through a groundwater vulnerability assessment in Serra da Estrela mountain (Central Portugal). GVTool is mostly useful in integrated assessments, helping to verify if the groundwater vulnerability maps are accurate and to decide which is the most suitable method or the combination of methods to express groundwater vulnerability to pollution in a specific area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Quality and Groundwater Vulnerability Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Potential Impacts to Wetlands and Water Bodies Due to Mineral Exploration, Pebble Copper-Gold Prospect, Southwest Alaska
Environments 2019, 6(7), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6070084
Received: 1 June 2019 / Revised: 16 July 2019 / Accepted: 17 July 2019 / Published: 19 July 2019
PDF Full-text (6272 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
There is little information in the literature about the impacts of mineral exploration drilling on natural waters. A copper-gold-molybdenum mining deposit in Alaska was heavily explored until 2012 and partially reclaimed; however, full reclamation of drill sites remained incomplete in 2016. Copper is [...] Read more.
There is little information in the literature about the impacts of mineral exploration drilling on natural waters. A copper-gold-molybdenum mining deposit in Alaska was heavily explored until 2012 and partially reclaimed; however, full reclamation of drill sites remained incomplete in 2016. Copper is sub-lethally toxic to salmon, a highly-valued resource in this area. Of 109 sites inspected, 9 sites had confirmed impacts due to un-reclaimed drill-holes or drill waste disposal practices. At seven sites artesian waters at the drill stem resulted in surface water or sediment elevated in aluminum, iron, copper, or zinc with neutral pH. Copper concentrations at artesian sites were <0.4, 0.7, 2, 7, 15, 76, and 215 µg/L; the latter four exceed water quality criteria. Drilling waste is known to have been disposed of in ponds and unlined sumps. At one of five ponds sampled, copper declined from 51 to 8 µg/L over nine years. At the one sump area with historical data, copper increased from 0.3 to 1.8 µg/L at a downgradient wetland spring over five years. This research identifies contaminant types and sources and can be used to guide future ecotoxicity studies and improve regulatory oversight. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Quality and Groundwater Vulnerability Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Documentation of Acidic Mining Exploration Drill Cuttings at the Pebble Copper–Gold Mineral Prospect, Southwest Alaska
Environments 2019, 6(7), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6070078
Received: 1 June 2019 / Revised: 2 July 2019 / Accepted: 2 July 2019 / Published: 4 July 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5129 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
During exploration drilling of the Pebble copper–gold–molybdenum (Cu–Au–Mo) deposit, drilling wastes were disposed of directly on the landscape or passed through unlined sumps prior to disposal. The ore and host rock are rich in sulfides, which weather to sulfuric acid with consequent metal [...] Read more.
During exploration drilling of the Pebble copper–gold–molybdenum (Cu–Au–Mo) deposit, drilling wastes were disposed of directly on the landscape or passed through unlined sumps prior to disposal. The ore and host rock are rich in sulfides, which weather to sulfuric acid with consequent metal leaching. Oxidized cuttings were visually evident, and confirmed with laboratory and field testing to have a pH of 2.7–4.3. At these sites, Cu and Mo exceeded or were at the high end of the natural background. With one exception, Cu was in the range of 545 mg/kg to 4865 mg/kg. Dead vegetation was observed at all sites with drill cuttings on the surface. Dead vegetation was also observed on sump soil covers, unrelated to drilling waste. Sites where vegetation had not re-established were from four to thirteen years old. The potential impact to surface and groundwater was not determined. Understanding the source and extent of damage from cuttings could lead to better site management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Quality and Groundwater Vulnerability Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Groundwater Vulnerability in the North Aquifer Area of Rhodes Island Using the GALDIT Method and GIS
Environments 2019, 6(5), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6050056
Received: 1 May 2019 / Revised: 20 May 2019 / Accepted: 21 May 2019 / Published: 24 May 2019
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Abstract
Salinization of coastal aquifer systems constitutes a major threat for groundwater. Especially areas with high population density due to increasing tourist activity may face severe problems. In this study, the GALDIT method was applied in the north side of Rhodes Island, Greece, in [...] Read more.
Salinization of coastal aquifer systems constitutes a major threat for groundwater. Especially areas with high population density due to increasing tourist activity may face severe problems. In this study, the GALDIT method was applied in the north side of Rhodes Island, Greece, in order to assess groundwater vulnerability to seawater intrusion. Hydrogeological data were elaborated in geographical information systems (GIS), and appropriate thematic maps were produced. The final vulnerability map was obtained from the combination of the thematic maps using overlying techniques. Based on the application of the GALDIT method, a zone up to 1000 m from the shore is characterized by medium to high vulnerability, while medium vulnerability characterizes the eastern part of the study area. Overexploitation of the aquifer, due to the intense touristic activity in Ialysos area, constitutes the main reason for groundwater salinization due to seawater intrusion in the study area. Consequently, planning of proper groundwater management and systematic monitoring of the groundwater reserves are of the utmost importance in order to solve existing problems and prevent future issues of salinization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Quality and Groundwater Vulnerability Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Challenges and Limitations of Karst Aquifer Vulnerability Mapping Based on the PaPRIKa Method—Application to a Large European Karst Aquifer (Fontaine de Vaucluse, France)
Environments 2019, 6(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6030039
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 14 March 2019 / Accepted: 19 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
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Abstract
Aquifer vulnerability maps can improve groundwater management for sustainable anthropogenic development. The latest update of karst aquifer vulnerability mapping is named: the Protection of Aquifers base on Protection, Rock type, Infiltration and KArstification (PaPRIKa). This multi-criteria assessment method is based on a weighting [...] Read more.
Aquifer vulnerability maps can improve groundwater management for sustainable anthropogenic development. The latest update of karst aquifer vulnerability mapping is named: the Protection of Aquifers base on Protection, Rock type, Infiltration and KArstification (PaPRIKa). This multi-criteria assessment method is based on a weighting system whose criteria are selected according to the aquifer under study. In this study, the PaPRIKa method has been applied in the Fontaine de Vaucluse karst aquifer using the novel plugin for Quantum Geographic Information System (QGIS) software. The Fontaine de Vaucluse karst aquifer is the largest European karst hydrosystem with a catchment area that measures approximately 1162 km 2 . Four thematic maps were produced according to the criteria of protection, rock type, infiltration, and karst development. The plugin expedites the weighting system test and generates the final vulnerability map. At a large scale the vulnerability map is globally linked with primary geomorphological units and at the local scale is mostly affected by karst features that drive hydrodynamics. In conclusion, the novel QGIS plugin standardizes the application of the PaPRIKa method, saves time and prevents user omissions. The final vulnerability map provides useful contributions that are most relevant to groundwater managers and decision-makers. We highlight the sensibility of the vulnerability map to the weighting system and validation issues of the vulnerability map are raised. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Quality and Groundwater Vulnerability Assessment)
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