Tracer tests and the structure of permeability in the Corallian limestone aquifer of northern England, UK

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doi: 10.1007/s10040-012-0830-x
Authors:Foley, Aidan; Cachandt, Gerd; Franklin, Janine; Willmore, Fergus; Atkinson, Tim
Author Affiliations:Primary:
Environmental Geology and Geotechnical Consultants, Manchester, United Kingdom
University College London, United Kingdom
Arup, United Kingdom
Yorkshire Water Services, United Kingdom
University of East Anglia, United Kingdom
Volume Title:Hydrogeology Journal
Source:Hydrogeology Journal, 20(3), p.483-498. Publisher: Springer, Berlin - Heidelberg, Germany. ISSN: 1431-2174
Publication Date:2012
Note:In English. Supplemental information/data is available in the online version of this article. 45 refs.; illus., incl. 2 tables, geol. sketch maps
Summary:The Corallian limestone of northern England (UK) is widely exploited for water supplies and exhibits the karstic phenomena of sinking rivers, conduit development and groundwater velocities of several kilometres per day. To test a number of model-derived source protection zones and elucidate contaminant transport mechanisms in the aquifer, three tracer tests were conducted from a set of swallow-holes draining the River Derwent toward public water supply wells in the eastern part of the aquifer. Tracers used included: Enterobacter cloacae (bacteriophage), Photine C (optical brightener), sodium fluorescein (fluorescent dye) and sulphur hexafluoride (dissolved gas), the varying properties of which make them suitable analogues for different types of potential contaminant. Observed tracer transport times and arrival patterns indicate that tracer transport occurs through karstic channels embedded in a network of primary fissures which exert control over tracer concentrations once initial tracer plumes have passed. A dipole flow system is observed between the swallow-holes and the closest abstraction well, whilst previously modelled source protection zones do not accurately reflect either groundwater velocity or those areas of the aquifer supplying the wells. These findings imply that managing such aquifers for potential contamination should rely upon empirical tracer evidence for source-protection zone modelling. Copyright 2012 Springer-Verlag
Subjects:Aquifer vulnerability; Aquifers; Carbonate rocks; Ground water; Jurassic; Karst hydrology; Kimmeridge Clay; Limestone; Mesozoic; Monitoring; Oxford Clay; Oxfordian; Pathogens; Permeability; Pollution; Preferential flow; Sedimentary rocks; Shallow aquifers; Tracers; Unconfined aquifers; Upper Jurassic; England; Europe; Great Britain; United Kingdom; Western Europe; Bacteria; Corallian Aquifer; Fluorescein; River Derwent; Vale of Pickering
Coordinates:N530000 N540000 W0001000 W0010000
Record ID:2012088032
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2018 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by Springer Verlag, Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany
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