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Title: An approach to hydrogeological assessment of Quaternary deposits in the UK: Part 2 Methodology and Testing
Document Type: Monograph
Annotation: Environment Agency Project ID:EAPRJOUT_1344, Representation ID: 448, Object ID: 2519
WFD 34 An approach to hydrogeological assessment of Quaternary deposits in the UK (October 2006) Project funders/partners: SNIFFER, Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Environment and Heritage Service. Background to research Superficial (Quaternary) deposits are an important moderator of potential recharge to a bedrock aquifer and they form a key component to the vulnerability of that aquifer to pollution. Understanding the processes by which superficial deposits transmit recharging water to the water table and how the deposits attenuate pollutants as the water passes through them is a vital component of the characterisation of groundwater bodies as required by the Water Framework Directive (WFD). Superficial deposits may modify both storage and vertical transport in a hydrogeological system, in particular: a the quantity of recharge (and/or its spatial distribution) to the underlying aquifer; a the vulnerability of the aquifer to pollution (absorption potential of the deposits, i.e. presence of clay minerals and/or organic material such as peat); a the aquifer characteristics of the groundwater system (especially aquifer storativity); a groundwater quality (infiltration moving downwards through these deposits to the underlying aquifer, may mobilise solutes). Objectives of research The project aims to improve the understanding and analysis of the hydrogeological processes pertaining to recharge and attenuation that occur in the Quaternary superficial deposits in the UK. The objectives are: a To develop a fit-for-purpose method for improving the current hydrogeological understanding of Quaternary deposits. a To provide a longer-term strategy to develop this method to satisfy the increased hydrogeological understanding of superficial deposits that will be required for many elements of the Water Framework Directive including further characterisation, monitoring site selection and programme of measures. This report describes the main components of the developed project methodology and future application and development opportunities. The background to the issues and summary of current knowledge are described in the accompanying Part 1 report. The Part 1 report describes two initial components of the overall study: a A review of approaches taken to Quaternary hydrogeological interpretation both within the UK and elsewhere; and. a It identifies and describes the key factors for Quaternary hydrogeological understanding, relevant for the assessment of groundwater bodies, as required by the WFD. The Part 2 report (this report) describes: a A review of the current status of Quaternary mapping in the UK. a A description of the development of a methodology to assess the superficial strata in terms of recharge potential and attenuation potential. i a a Trialling of the methodology. Consideration of the methodology limitations, data scarcity, a route map for future work and data Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues. Key findings and recommendations A scale independent methodology has been trialled for the whole of the UK and compared against existing assessments of groundwater recharge and groundwater vulnerability. These comparisons show that the methodology is producing plausible results. The methodology follows a rigid and defensible protocol which can be applied at various scales. It is recommended that the methodology be used to populate a new database derived from 1: 50 000 scale input data in order that a useable assessment tool can be developed to assist in the further characterisation of groundwater bodies. One of the principal strengths of the methodology is that it is designed to capture primary geological and hydrogeological expert knowledge in a systematic manner. Future development of the methodology could allow, for a particular study area, multiple input of knowledge and experience over time, building, in an iterative way, an improved conceptual understanding of hydrogeological processes within a unique archive. Key words: recharge, attenuation, GIS, Quaternary ii SNIFFER WFD 34: An approach to hydrogeological assessment of Quaternary deposits in the UK Part 2 October 2006 TABLE OF CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Publisher: Environment Agency
Subject Keywords: Geographical information systems; Recharge; Attenuation; Quaternary
Extent: 72
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