Deep groundwater circulation and its potential influence on shallow water resources & ecosystems (SS-GH7)


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Deep groundwater circulation and its potential influence on shallow water resources & ecosystems (SS-GH7)

Christine Rivard (Geological Survey of Canada), John Molson (Université Laval), and René Lefebvre (INRS)

Leaders and affiliations : Christine Rivard (Geological Survey of Canada); John Molson (Université Laval); René Lefebvre (INRS)

Description : Deep groundwater flow eventually emerges to the surface and discharges locally, such as in hot springs, or more diffusely where it can mix with shallow groundwater. Discharge of deep groundwater may thus exert an important influence on the availability and quality of groundwater in shallow aquifers, as well as on ecosystems and human activities relying on this shallow groundwater. Deep groundwater flow involves complex physical and geochemical processes, which are influenced by the geological setting of the flow system and by preferential flow paths, such as permeable fractures or fault zones. Even though the hydrodynamics of deep basin-scale flow is of interest in itself, it also has an important bearing on deep resource extraction and waste storage activities, such as those related to mining, shale oil and gas production, geothermal energy and CO2 sequestration. The understanding of deep groundwater flow is, however, challenging, as the characterization of large-scale flow systems is difficult, notably due to limited data availability. Therefore, new applications of geochemical and geophysical methods as well as indirect ecological markers are required to better understand the functioning and effects of deep flow on the shallow subsurface and biosphere.

This session aims to bring together researchers and practitioners interested in fundamental and applied aspects of deep groundwater flow and its relation with shallow water resources and ecosystems. The session thus welcomes work spanning from energy-related activities to groundwater management, including theoretical analysis, field and remote sensing, data acquisition and interpretation, numerical modelling and laboratory work.