Elia Cantoni I Gomez
Dept. of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering
Impacts of changing climate on groundwater recharge in low storativity fractured-rock aquifers
Keywords: Climate change; groundwater recharge; bedrock aquifers; source protection areas; groundwater dependent ecosystems; climate projections; recharge caps.
The bedrock geology of Ireland comprises Precambrian to Upper Paleozoic igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. Due to the characteristics of these lithologies, water flow occurs mainly through fissures and fractures and so, the storage and transmisivity capacities of these type of aquifers is reduced. As a consequence, approximately 70% of the country is underlain by aquifers regarded as ‘poorly productive’. It is expected that projected climate change will have an impact on groundwater recharge, as a consequence it is required to determine how bedrock properties affect aquifer response to present and future recharge.
Changes in recharge are likely to have impacts on regional groundwater resources, and also on groundwater dependent wetlands (such as fens, turloughs and bogs), and on the Source Protection Areas (SPAs), which have been delineated around the country’s major water supply wells and springs, and hence on the pollution risk to these sources.