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Title: Characterisation of Irish poorly productive aquifers using chemical and isotopic tools
Author: Pilatova, K.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 3853
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2014
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Ambiguities in recharge estimates but also in understanding flow process in Poorly Productive Bedrock Aquifers (PPBA) are reported from many studies across the globe. These arise from structural complexities of the hardrock aquifers and are further complicated by variability of the till cover. In Ireland these studies are completely missing and thus concept of groundwater flow and recharge into the PPBA is not well understood. In recognising this, a comparative study of three well typified metamorphic catchments situated in North of Ireland is presented here, each with contrasting land use, geology, glaciation history and consequently till cover with overall aim to develop transferable conceptual model. Quick turnaround times and by-pass flow even in deep bedrock are suggested by water chemistry. Application of stable water isotopes (δ180 and δD) confirms the meteoric origin with rapid response times to precipitation from several days to few months depending on till cover and rainfall intensities. Groundwater flow can be narrowed down to following flow systems: (1) transition zone with rapid transit times of few months; (2) deep and shallow bedrock with significantly lower circulation times. Tritium dating yielded residence time estimates of up to 60 years. Absence of drift deposits and interference of added drainage through fault or weathered zone decreased the residence time by 10 years. Groundwater in till and alluvium is likely to be recharged within the past 5 years. Moreover developed conceptual model was validated by mass balance modelling using NETPATH and suggests that consideration of 3D lateral components are necessary to fully understand the flow in these heterogeneous aquifers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available