Special Issue "From Groundwater Flow System Understanding toward Sustainable Water Management"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Hydraulics and Hydrodynamics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (14 February 2022) | Viewed by 5777

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Judit Mádl-Szőnyi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
József and Erzsébet Tóth Endowed Hydrogeology Chair, Department of Geology, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Pázmány Péter stny. 1/C, 1117 Budapest, Hungary
Interests: groundwater flow systems; basin hydraulics; hypogene karst; thermal water
Prof. Dr. Marco Masetti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Università degli Studi di Milano—Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra “Ardito Desio” Via Mangiagalli, 34-20133 Milan, Italy
Interests: groundwater vulnerability; vadose zone hydrogeology; numerical modeling
Dr. Hanneke Verweij
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Independent Expert, Delft, The Netherlands
Interests: regional groundwater flow in deep basins; petroleum systems; hydrodynamics
Dr. Ádám Tóth
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
József and Erzsébet Tóth Endowed Hydrogeology Chair, Department of Geology, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Pázmány Péter stny. 1/C, 1117 Budapest, Hungary
Interests: basin hydrogeology; numerical simulation; karst; hydrogeophysics
Dr. Brigitta Czauner
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
József and Erzsébet Tóth Endowed Hydrogeology Chair, Department of Geology, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Pázmány Péter stny. 1/C, 1117 Budapest, Hungary
Interests: basin hydraulics; petroleum hydrogeology; basin hydrogeology
Prof. Dr. John Molson
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, Université Laval, Quebec City, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
Interests: reactive transport; groundwater; numerical modeling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Good governance and management of groundwater for meeting multiple presents and future demands on the resource, and to account for potential impacts of climate change, requires scientific understanding and knowledge of groundwater flow systems from the local or catchment scale to regional basin scales. This includes understanding the natural physical and chemical processes associated with groundwater flow systems, their consequences, interaction with other components of the hydrological cycle, as well as understanding the impact of human activities on groundwater systems.

This Special Issue brings together manuscripts from different fields of groundwater studies with the common aspect of understanding groundwater flow systems for improved water management, including:

  • hydraulic behavior/hydraulic processes
  • hydrogeochemical processes and chemical transport processes
  • recharge, discharge processes
  • groundwater-surface water interactions
  • groundwater flow systems and groundwater-dependent ecosystems
  • coupled groundwater flow and heat transport processes
  • groundwater age and residence/transit time
  • groundwater flow systems in different environments
  • geogenic and anthropogenic origin of chemical composition
  • impacts of climate change on groundwater flow system (recharge and discharge, groundwater-surface water interaction, chemical composition)
  • groundwater flow systems in relation to economic resources such as geothermal energy and hydrothermal mineral deposits

All papers should have a groundwater flow system component and it is suggested to mention a connection to current or future water management issues. Original research articles, theoretical, field, experimental, numerical and analytical studies, and comprehensive review papers focusing on defining groundwater flow and preventing, controlling, and mitigating negative environmental impacts (quality and quantity) including those in developing countries, are welcome.

The Special Issue is initiated by the Regional Groundwater Flow Commission of IAH and the ENeRAG H2020 project and is connected to the International Symposium on Geofluids held on July 2021.

Prof. Dr. Judit Mádl-Szőnyi
Prof. Dr. Marco Masetti
Dr. Hanneke Verweij
Dr. Ádám Tóth
Dr. Brigitta Czauner
Prof. Dr. John Molson
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2200 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

  • groundwater flow systems

  • hydraulic behavior
  • hydrogeochemistry
  • groundwater-surface water interactions
  • heat transport
  • recharge
  • discharge
  • residence/transit time
  • groundwater age
  • aquifer and water well protection
  • water management

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
Numerical Analysis of the Groundwater Flow System and Heat Transport for Sustainable Water Management in a Regional Semi-Arid Basin in Central Mexico
Water 2022, 14(9), 1377; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14091377 - 24 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 587 | Correction
Abstract
The Independence Basin is located in a semi-arid region of Mexico, delimited predominantly by volcanic mountains. Around 30 m3/s of water are extracted from regional aquifers mainly for agro-export activities, causing declines in the water table of up to 10 m/a, [...] Read more.
The Independence Basin is located in a semi-arid region of Mexico, delimited predominantly by volcanic mountains. Around 30 m3/s of water are extracted from regional aquifers mainly for agro-export activities, causing declines in the water table of up to 10 m/a, increased temperature and dissolved elements that are harmful to health and the environment. Regional groundwater coupled flow and heat transport under current conditions were studied on a basin-wide scale (7000 km2) using a three-dimensional finite-element model under steady-state conditions to provide support for water management decisions and transient modeling. Isothermal, forced and free thermal convection under existing hydrological conditions prior to pumping are analyzed. The results show that the interaction of topography-driven groundwater flow and buoyancy-driven free thermal convection are consistent with historical hydrological records, the characteristics of the water table, and thermal anomalies observed in the basin. The simulated groundwater recharge is near 7 ± 0.25 m3/s, a balance broken since the 1980s by extensive pumping. The results show the importance of considering the groundwater temperature, its transient response in the evolution of groundwater extraction, and the upward migration of a thermal front through the fractured aquifer that has increased risks for health and sustainability. Full article
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Article
Hydrogeochemical Characteristics Refine the Conceptual Model of Groundwater Flow in Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada
Water 2022, 14(6), 965; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14060965 - 18 Mar 2022
Viewed by 646
Abstract
Wood Buffalo National Park (WBNP), the largest national park of Canada, has unique and complex ecosystems that depend on specific water quantity and quality. We characterize groundwaters and surface waters in WBNP by determining their chemical compositions and water types, the dominant hydrochemical [...] Read more.
Wood Buffalo National Park (WBNP), the largest national park of Canada, has unique and complex ecosystems that depend on specific water quantity and quality. We characterize groundwaters and surface waters in WBNP by determining their chemical compositions and water types, the dominant hydrochemical processes affecting their compositions, and their hydrochemical characteristics in relation to interpreted groundwater flow systems. Total Dissolved Solid concentrations in groundwaters and surface waters range from ≤10 mg/L to ≥300,000 mg/L. Four distinct water type groups are found: (1) Ca-SO4-type waters occur in multiple clusters across the area in outcrop areas of Devonian evaporites; (2) Na-Cl-type waters predominantly occur in the Salt plains region along the central eastern boundary, overlapping evaporite and carbonate-dominated bedrock formations; (3) Ca-HCO3-type waters dominate the Peace-Athabasca Delta-region in the south and most of the central region; and (4) “mixed” waters. Solutes in the waters originate from three main processes: dissolution of halite, dissolution of sulphate minerals, and dissolution of carbonates. The spatial occurrence of hydrochemical characteristics correlate with hypothesized groundwater flow systems, i.e., Ca-SO4 and Na-Cl-type waters coincide with discharge areas of intermediate to regional groundwater flow paths, and Ca-HCO3-type waters overlap with recharge areas. The findings of this study contribute to advancing knowledge on the hydrochemical characteristics of this remote and highly protected region of Alberta, Canada, and are important components of any further, comprehensive assessment of the natural water conditions. Full article
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Article
Integration of a Shallow Soda Lake into the Groundwater Flow System by Using Hydraulic Evaluation and Environmental Tracers
Water 2022, 14(6), 951; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14060951 - 18 Mar 2022
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Abstract
Lake Velence is a shallow soda lake whose water level and water quality show a severely deteriorating tendency in recent years. Until recently, the groundwater component in the lake’s water budget has not been taken into consideration. To integrate the lake into the [...] Read more.
Lake Velence is a shallow soda lake whose water level and water quality show a severely deteriorating tendency in recent years. Until recently, the groundwater component in the lake’s water budget has not been taken into consideration. To integrate the lake into the groundwater flow system at the regional scale, methods of “basin hydraulics” were applied. In addition, 17 water samples were collected for δ2H and δ18O, and for ΣU, 226Ra and 222Rn activity measurements to use these parameters as environmental tracers of groundwater contribution. Groundwater mapping revealed that groundwater recharges in Velence Hills and the local elevations south of the lake, whereas discharge occurs by the lake’s shoreline and along surface watercourses. The results indicated that Lake Velence is the discharge point of local groundwater flow systems known to be more sensitive to climate changes and anthropogenic activities (e.g., contamination, overexploitation). Groundwater and lake water have similar uranium activity concentrations serving as another sign of groundwater inflow into the lake. Therefore, it is necessary to consider both the groundwater component in the lake’s water management and its vulnerability regarding local and short-term changes in the catchment area. Full article
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Article
Glacial Melt in the Canadian Rockies and Potential Effects on Groundwater in the Plains Region
Water 2022, 14(5), 733; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14050733 - 25 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 617
Abstract
The prevailing concern in the Western Canadian Plains is that glaciers from the eastern Canadian Rocky Mountains (CRM) are losing mass, thus affecting groundwater recharge in the Plains. The generally accepted hypothesis is that those glaciers are the geological source of groundwater for [...] Read more.
The prevailing concern in the Western Canadian Plains is that glaciers from the eastern Canadian Rocky Mountains (CRM) are losing mass, thus affecting groundwater recharge in the Plains. The generally accepted hypothesis is that those glaciers are the geological source of groundwater for aquifers located in the Plains. The aquifers located in this region, close to the eastern part of the Rockies, represent a major source of water for the local population. It is believed that aquifer recharge originates as infiltration from snowmelt and ice in the Front Ranges of the eastern Rockies. A growing concern relates to the significant glacier melt estimated from glacier mass balances, which indicate that glaciers and ice fields have experienced considerable mass losses over the last 15 years, between 1 and 5 km3 per year, thus reducing recharge. However, deep groundwater flow under melting glacier conditions in mountainous regions is poorly understood. In this study, three 2D numerical hydrogeological models are built in order to simulate the groundwater flow under the glaciers from the Main and Front Ranges of the CRM and the Plains in the province of Alberta, Canada. Numerical results and a sensitivity analysis indicate that up to three different regional groundwater-flow systems are present in the region. These systems reveal the time- and space-scales associated with the combination of a mountainous region, foothills, Plains, and deep geological conditions. Based on the current knowledge of the hydrogeology of the study area and numerical modelling results, it is highly unlikely that the melting of glaciers affects groundwater in the Plains in the immediate future. The contribution of glacier water in the eastern part of the Rockies is time-dependent with delayed groundwater flows of 1000s of years in the Front ranges, 1000s to 100,000s of years in the foothills and Foreland; and 100,000s to millions of years to the Plains, at the regional scale. Full article
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Article
Probability of Non-Exceedance of Arsenic Concentration in Groundwater Estimated Using Stochastic Multicomponent Reactive Transport Modeling
Water 2021, 13(21), 3086; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13213086 - 03 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 649
Abstract
Stochastic multicomponent reactive transport modeling is a powerful approach to quantify the probability of non-exceedance (PNE) of arsenic (As) critical concentration thresholds in groundwater. The approach is applied to a well-characterized shallow alluvial aquifer near Venice, Italy. Here, As mobility depends primarily on [...] Read more.
Stochastic multicomponent reactive transport modeling is a powerful approach to quantify the probability of non-exceedance (PNE) of arsenic (As) critical concentration thresholds in groundwater. The approach is applied to a well-characterized shallow alluvial aquifer near Venice, Italy. Here, As mobility depends primarily on rainfall-controlled redox-dependent precipitation-dissolution of iron hydroxides. A Monte-Carlo analysis based on a calibrated three-dimensional flow and transport model targeted the geochemical initial conditions as the main source of uncertainty of As concentrations in the studied aquifer. It was found that, during 115 simulated days, the fraction of the entire aquifer volume with As > 10 μgL−1 decreased on average from ~43% to ~39% and the average As concentration from ~32 μgL−1 to ~27 μgL−1. Meanwhile, PNE increased from 55% to 60% when 10 μgL−1 was set as target threshold, and from 71% to 78% for 50 μgL−1. The time dependence of As attenuation can be ascribed to the increase of oxidizing conditions during rainfall-dependent aquifer recharge, which causes As sorption on precipitating iron hydroxides. When computing the same statistics for the shallowest 6 m, As attenuation was even more evident. The volume fraction of aquifer with As > 10μgL−1 dropped from 40% to 28% and the average As concentration from 31 μgL−1 to 20 μgL−1, whereas PNE increased from 58% to 70% for As < 10 μgL−1 and from 71% to 86% for As < 50 μgL−1. Thus, the wells screen depth in the aquifer can be a critical aspect when estimating As risk, owing to the depth-dependent relative change in redox conditions during rainfall events. Full article
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Correction
Correction: Ortega Guerrero, M.A. Numerical Analysis of the Groundwater Flow System and Heat Transport for Sustainable Water Management in a Regional Semi-Arid Basin in Central Mexico. Water 2022, 14, 1377
Water 2022, 14(11), 1797; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14111797 - 02 Jun 2022
Viewed by 480
Abstract
There were two errors in the original publication [...] Full article
Concept Paper
Effect of Fault Extension Relevant to Unconformity on Hydrothermal Fluid Flow, Mass Transport, and Uranium Deposition
Water 2022, 14(7), 1097; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14071097 - 30 Mar 2022
Viewed by 504
Abstract
In this study, a conceptual model is developed based on common features of typical unconformity-related uranium deposits in the Athabasca Basin, Canada. Three reactive flow modeling scenarios are designed to address the effect of fault extension on the formation of uranium deposits. Our [...] Read more.
In this study, a conceptual model is developed based on common features of typical unconformity-related uranium deposits in the Athabasca Basin, Canada. Three reactive flow modeling scenarios are designed to address the effect of fault extension on the formation of uranium deposits. Our results indicate that the location of the fault zone relevant to the unconformity is crucial to the fluid circulation in both the sandstone layer and the basement unit, the temperature distribution, the transport of aqueous components, and the uranium deposition. In particular, this research reveals that the circulating pattern of the basement brine is critical for the ore genesis. The reducing basal brine is capable of carrying aqueous uranium from depth to react with the shallow oxidizing fluid, being percolated to the basement from the overlain sandstone layer, for uranium precipitation. Scenarios 1 and 2, in which the fault zone is mainly in the basement, are in favor of focusing ore-forming hydrothermal fluids into the footwall area in the basement, leading to the formation of uranium deposits therein. Scenario 3, in which the fault zone is mainly in the sandstone layer with a limited extension below the unconformity, is unfavorable for the focusing of fluids, and hence no significant deposits can be formed, except for some minor uranium mineralization occurring in the footwall and other areas in the basement that are spatially associated with the upwelling flow zones in the sandstone layer. Full article
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Concept Paper
Groundwater Flow System-Based Dynamic System Approach for Geofluids and Their Resources
Water 2022, 14(7), 1015; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14071015 - 23 Mar 2022
Viewed by 650
Abstract
The ‘Dynamic System Approach for Geofluids and their Resources’ was developed to harmonize research and the sustainable exploration of geofluids (e.g., groundwater, geothermal and hydrothermal fluids) and the related geo-resources (groundwater, geothermal energy and hydrothermal minerals). The conception is based on the basin-scale [...] Read more.
The ‘Dynamic System Approach for Geofluids and their Resources’ was developed to harmonize research and the sustainable exploration of geofluids (e.g., groundwater, geothermal and hydrothermal fluids) and the related geo-resources (groundwater, geothermal energy and hydrothermal minerals). The conception is based on the basin-scale groundwater flow systems, which behave as a geologic agent, mobilize, transport and deposit matter and heat, whilst it can be evaluated quantitatively and in a distributed manner. Evaluation of these systems combined, for instance, with numerical, stochastic and isotope methods can jointly manage all types of geofluids, the related resources and the environmental consequences of their exploration and utilization. This paper describes the fundamental concepts of the approach and displays the proposed workflow and guidelines for practical applications such as groundwater vulnerability assessment, managed aquifer recharge, geothermal energy utilization, and the evaluation of hydrothermal mineral potential. Full article
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