New approach to hydrogeological modelling and source data collecting in a small mountainous hard rock basin - experiences from the Sudety Mts. (SW Poland)

Marek Wcisło, Tomasz Olichwer


We demonstrate a new research methodology into flow paths and groundwater resources with in small hard rock basins, where little hydrogeological data is available, a picture may be obtained by modeling. Data has been collected in the Złoty Potok river catchment (area 4.4 sq km), located in the eastern Sudety Mts. (SW Poland). The study area, as for most small hard rock basins in the Sudety Mts. is characterized by: i) steeply sloping terrain, ii) a complex flow system connected to several media, ii) poorly constrained hydrogeological parameters. In such conditions, groundwater models are difficult to implement. To overcome these difficulties, we applied a concept of mixed flow ruled by laws of Darcy (porous media) and Hagen-Poiseuille (fractured media), and the concept of three water-bearing zones, a classic solution for scales of above several sq km, combined with a discrete fracture model. Field data applied for modeling were collected over one year, measuring all manifestations of groundwater occurrence: i) effective infiltration (lysimeter), ii) fracture mapping, iii) stream flow and flow disappearance. As a result of modelling, specific flow domains were identified; which form a system of zones, characterized by different geometries and flow velocities. A new, previously unrecognized zone of considerable importance for water extraction, i.e. fractures in the river valley axis, reaching a deep part of the orogen (up to 300 m b.g.l.) was defined. The relationships investigated allowed prepation of a prognosis for deep groundwater intake locations in poorly described mountainous areas. The success of the solutions obtained in this typical mountainous river basin suggests that this method may be come efficiently and widely used in other hard rock areas. The research undertaken offers an innovative, efficient approach to groundwater resource assessment in hard rock.


groundwater resources; hard rock; hydrogeological modelling; Sudety Mts.

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