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Title: Groundwater salinity and hydrochemical processes in the volcano-sedimentary aquifer of La Aldea, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain
Authors: Cruz-Fuentes, Tatiana 
del Carmen Cabrera, Maria 
Heredia, Javier
Custodio, Emilio
UNESCO Clasification: 250804 Aguas subterráneas
250605 Hidrogeología
Keywords: Hydrogeochemistry
Salinization processes
Return irrigation flows
Volcanic–sedimentary aquifer, et al
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: 0048-9697
Project: Consolider 
Valoracion de Procesos de Recarga y Descarga de Acuiferos Mediante Trazado Natural : Aplicacion en Gran Canaria 
CICYT 1FD97-0525
Journal: Science of the Total Environment 
Abstract: The origin of the groundwater salinity and hydrochemical conditions of a 44km(2) volcano-sedimentary aquifer in the semi-arid to arid La Aldea Valley (western Gran Canaria, Spain) has been studied, using major physical and chemical components. Current aquifer recharge is mainly the result of irrigation return flows and secondarily that of rainfall infiltration. Graphical, multivariate statistical and modeling tools have been applied in order to improve the hydrogeological conceptual model and identify the natural and anthropogenic factors controlling groundwater salinity. Groundwater ranges from Na-Cl-HCO3 type for moderate salinity water to Na-Mg-Cl-SO4 type for high salinity water. This is mainly the result of atmospheric airborne salt deposition; silicate weathering, and recharge incorporating irrigation return flows. High evapotranspiration produces significant evapo-concentration leading to relative high groundwater salinity in the area. Under average conditions, about 70% of the water used for intensive agricultural exploitation in the valley comes from three low salinity water runoff storage reservoirs upstream, out of the area, while the remaining 30% derives from groundwater. The main alluvial aquifer behaves as a short turnover time reservoir that adds to the surface waters to complement irrigation water supply in dry periods, when it reaches 70% of irrigation water requirements. The high seasonality and intra-annual variability of water demand for irrigation press on decision making on aquifer use by a large number of aquifer users acting on their own.
ISSN: 0048-9697
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.03.041
Source: Science Of The Total Environment [ISSN 0048-9697], v. 484, p. 154-166
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