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Accueil du site → Master → Afrique du Sud → 2019 → Assessing hydrogeological characteristics to establish influence of aquifer-river interaction in non-perennial river systems, Heuningnes catchment

University of the Western Cape (2019)

Assessing hydrogeological characteristics to establish influence of aquifer-river interaction in non-perennial river systems, Heuningnes catchment

Banda, Vincent Santos Dzulani

Titre : Assessing hydrogeological characteristics to establish influence of aquifer-river interaction in non-perennial river systems, Heuningnes catchment

Auteur : Banda, Vincent Santos Dzulani

Université de soutenance : University of the Western Cape

Grade : Magister Scientiae - MSc (Environ & Water Science) 2019

Résumé partiel
Over half of total flows in the global river network are composed of non-perennial rivers. This indicates the importance of non-perennial river systems in supporting the biodiversity. It has been established that groundwater is one of the elements that control the flow regimes and classification (whether perennial or not) of a river system. However, the use of hydrogeological characteristics to establish the influence of groundwater on non-perennial river systems remain to be widely unpublished. This study, therefore, intends to conceptualize and explain the role of hydrogeological characteristics in non-perennial rivers, using the Heuningnes catchment in the Western Cape Province of South Africa as a case study. The study has argued that thorough characterization of aquifers is essential in order to adequately establish the extent of aquifer-river connectivity and how groundwater influences flows and chemical loading in non-perennial river systems. The study has three objectives namely : (i) to determine the aquifer characteristics (ii) to characterise the aquifer-river interaction and (iii) to conceptualize the groundwater flow system. Records review, field, analytical and laboratory-based methods were used to collect and interpret geological, groundwater level, pumping test, hydro-chemical and environmental stable isotopic data in order to characterise groundwater occurrence, flow system and its interaction with the rivers of the study area. Water samples were taken from groundwater, surface water and rainfall during both dry and wet periods. Results show that the study area has a topography-controlled water table with shallow depth to groundwater levels ranging on average from 3 - 10 m, which result into largely a local groundwater flow system. Transmissivity values determined from constant rate pumping test range between 0.17 and 1.74 m2/day. Results exhibit that the low transmissivity values are associated with the weathered nature of the Table Mountain sandstone and the unfractured Bokkeveld shale formations. Hydrochemical data results indicate that both groundwater and river samples in the upstream part of the study area are characterised as fresh water with TDS values of less than 1000 mg/l while the downstream part has saline waters with TDS ranging from 2000 – 35000 mg/l. Results also show that Na-Cl is the dominant water composition for both groundwater and river water.

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Page publiée le 24 mai 2020