Groundwater; Managing our Hidden Asset

Dr Arnaud Duranel, Senior Ecologist at Thomson Ecology, is speaking at the “Groundwater; Managing our Hidden Asset” conference this week.

The two-day conference, which is hosted by the University of Birmingham, will celebrate the International Association of Hydrogeologists’ 60th anniversary and the Geological Society’s Year of Water.

Arnaud will talk during the “Groundwater ecosystem services” session on Wednesday morning. His talk is entitled “Integrated hydrological modelling of a groundwater-dependent valley mire in central France”. He will also present two posters.

Arnaud has over fifteen years’ experience in ecology and hydrology, and has an expert knowledge of wetland ecology, hydrology, wetland management, restoration and creation.

He says that, “The understanding of the hydrogeology of hard-rock aquifers has changed substantially over the last 20 years. In particular, it has been recognised that they are not limited to the superficial and often discontinuous saprolite layer, but are, in many cases, continuous composite aquifers in which the presence of a layer of densely fissured rock ensures a transmissive function. Accordingly, classic concepts regarding the hydrogeology of acidic valley mires located at the bottom of etch-basins in Hercynian Europe may require revision. Here we present the results of a field and modelling study investigating the water balance of such a mire and the impacts of catchment afforestation on its hydrological condition, using the integrated distributed hydrological model MIKE SHE coupled to the HYLUC interception model. It is shown that groundwater from the fissured granite upwelling through the peat makes for a quantitatively important and functionally essential part of water inputs to the mire. The model suggested that replacement of open habitats by conifer plantations within the catchment may lead to a substantial reduction in surface and groundwater inputs to this type of mire. A substantial drop in groundwater levels in the peat is also predicted, but only along the mire margins.”

For further information on the conference, click here:

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