Estimating annual effective infiltration coefficient and groundwater recharge for karst aquifers of the southern Apennines

V. Allocca, F. Manna, P. De Vita
2013 Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions  
To assess the mean annual groundwater recharge of the karst aquifers in southern Apennines (Italy), the estimation of the mean annual effective infiltration coefficient (AEIC) was conducted by means of an integrated approach based on hydrogeological, hydrological, geomorphological, land use and soil cover analyses. We studied a large 5 part of the southern Apennines that is covered by a meteorological network and containing 40 principal karst aquifers. Using precipitation and air temperature
more » ... e series gathered through monitoring stations operating in the period 1926-2012, the annual effective precipitation (AEP) was estimated, and its distribution was modelled, by considering the orographic barrier and rain shadow effects of the Apennines chain, as 10 well as the altitudinal control. Four sample karst aquifers with available long spring discharge time series were identified for estimating the AEIC by means of the hydrological budget equation. The resulting AEIC values were correlated with other parameters that control groundwater recharge, such as the extension of outcropping karstrock, morphological settings, land use and covering soil type. A simple correlation rela-15 tionship between AEIC, lithology and the summit flat and endorheic areas was found. This empirical model has been used to estimate AEIC and mean annual groundwater recharge in other regional karst aquifers. The estimated AEIC values ranged between 48 % and 78 %, thus matching intervals estimated for other karst aquifers in European and Mediterranean countries. 20 These results represent a deeper understanding of an aspect of groundwater hydrology in karst aquifers which is fundamental for the formulation of appropriate management models of groundwater resources, also taking into account mitigation strategies for climate change impacts. Finally, the proposed hydrological characterisations are also perceived as useful for the assessment of mean annual runoff over carbon-25 ate mountains, which is another important topic concerning water management in the southern Apennines. 10128 Abstract 20
doi:10.5194/hessd-10-10127-2013 fatcat:lrrelb7btngyzhfqhqhkxqkdh4