Assessment of Aquifer Vulnerability Using Integrated Geophysical Approach in Weathered Terrains of South China

Muhammad Hasan, Yanjun Shang, Weijun Jin, Gulraiz Akhter
2019 Open Geosciences  
Despite being rich in groundwater resources, assessment of hard-rock aquifers in many areas of Asia is difficult given their strong heterogeneity. However, delineation of such aquifers is essential for estimation of the groundwater reserves. In addition, the vulnerability of hard-rock aquifers is controlled by the weathered/fractured zones because it is the place where most of the groundwater reserves are contained. In this work, an integrated approach of the electrical resistivity tomography
more » ... RT), high precision magnetic, X-ray Diffraction (XRD), physicochemical analysis and pumping test data was performed to investigate the hard-rock aquifers occurring in the weathered terrains. This approach reveals seven fractures/faults (F1 to F7) and four discrete layers such as the topsoil cover, highly weathered, partly weathered and unweathered rock. The groundwater resources are estimated as a function of different parameters i.e., aquifer resistivity (ρo), transverse unit resistance (Tr), hydraulic conductivity (K), transmissivity (T), rock formation factor (F) and rock porosity (Φ). These parameters divide the groundwater resources into four aquifer potential zones with specific ranges of ρo, Tr, K, T, F and Φ i.e., high, medium, poor, and negligible potential aquifers. The results suggest that the high potential aquifer reserves are contained within the weathered/fractured and fault zones. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) technique analyzes quartz as the major mineral (>50%). The physicochemical and geophysical analysis suggests good groundwater quality in the investigated area. The integrated results are highly satisfied with the available borehole information. This integrated geophysical approach for the estimation of groundwater resources is not only applicable in the weathered terrains of South China, but also in many other areas of the weathered/fractured aquifer in Asia and beyond.
doi:10.1515/geo-2019-0087 fatcat:munxid6djngmdbcfd3tgytcvwe