Journal of Environmental Hydrology
Electronic Journal of the International Association for Environmental Hydrology
JEH Volume 20 (2012), Paper 13 Posted September 28, 2012
HYDRAULIC HETEROGENEITY IN A HIGHLY WEATHERED BASALTIC REGOLITH: IMPACT ON LATERAL-FLOW AND SOLUTE TRANSPORT
2Department of Environment & Resource Management, Mareeba, Australia
Reliable on-ground information on groundwater (GW) hydraulic heterogeneity is required to determine flow direction and quantities, but its experimental characterisation is difficult because of the complexities associated with the interaction involving the temporal changes in space modified by regolith stratigraphy. The impact of the aforementioned variables, particularly stratigraphy in a 51 m thick highly weathered basaltic regolith in the northeast humid tropics of Queensland, Australia, on flow gradients and directions was investigated in this study. Regolith cores at 1 m increments indicated that there were 3 different major strata. The temporal changes in water table, hydraulic- and pressure- heads, and solute concentrations in space indicated the top 51 m aquifer was contiguous, dynamic and hydraulically differentiated into three segments which approximately corresponded with the regolith strata. The lateral-flow and solute transport from each aquifer segment was controlled by depth to water table, the number of regolith layers the segment covered, and the solute concentration.
Reference: Rasiah, V., J.D. Armour, and S.K. Florentine. 2012. Hydraulic heterogeneity in a highly weathered basaltic regolith: Impact on lateral-flow and solute transport. Journal of Environmental Hydrology, Vol. 20, Paper 13.
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