Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Identifying Karst Aquifers Recharge Area Using Environmental Isotopes: Case Study in Central Italy

Version 1 : Received: 27 July 2018 / Approved: 27 July 2018 / Online: 27 July 2018 (14:30:08 CEST)

How to cite: Sappa, G.; Vitale, S.; Ferranti, F. Identifying Karst Aquifers Recharge Area Using Environmental Isotopes: Case Study in Central Italy. Preprints 2018, 2018070544 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201807.0544.v1). Sappa, G.; Vitale, S.; Ferranti, F. Identifying Karst Aquifers Recharge Area Using Environmental Isotopes: Case Study in Central Italy. Preprints 2018, 2018070544 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201807.0544.v1).

Abstract

Water resources management is one of the most important challenges worldwide because water represents a vital resource for sustaining life and environment. In the aim of sustainable groundwater management, the identification of aquifer recharge areas is a useful tool for water resources protection. In a well-developed karst aquifer, environmental isotopes provide support for identifying aquifer recharge areas, residence time and interconnections between aquifer systems. This study deals the use of environmental isotopes to identify the main recharge area of a karst aquifer in the Upper Valley of Aniene River (Central Italy). The analysis of 18O/16O and 2H/H values and their spatial distribution in the aquifer, make it possible to trace back groundwater recharge areas based on average isotope elevations. The Inverse Hydrogeological Balance Method was used to validate spring recharge elevations obtained by the use of stable isotopes. Areas impacted by direct and rapid rainfall recharge into the study area were delineated, showing groundwater flowpaths from the boundaries to the core of the aquifer. The results of this study demonstrate the contribution that spatial and temporal isotope changes can provide to the identification of groundwater flowpaths in a karst basin, taking into account the hydrogeological setting

Subject Areas

recharge area; karst aquifers; stable isotope, environmental tracer

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