A karstic aquifer in the Dominican Republic (Bayahibe, 2008). © BRGM - Christophe Rigollet

Interactions between water masses

Few studies have been made of the interfaces between underground water masses and surface waters (rivers, wetlands) or with seas and oceans along the coastline.

The programme on "interactions between water masses" focuses on:

  • interactions between water tables and rivers, which need to be understood in the interests of quantitative management (impacts of abstraction on the hydrodynamic equilibrium, management of low water periods) and qualitative assessments of water resources and their environments,
  • interactions between surface waters, seawater and underground water in estuaries or deltas as critical areas in which resources and environments may be affected by sea level rise (salt wedge/freshwater-salt water interface).

Knowledge on these interfaces is essential to an understanding of structure, hydrodynamics and transfers, to provide relevant responses to integrated resource management issues.

The characterisation of these relationships and interdisciplinary methodological developments (geochemistry, biogeochemistry, modelling) are components of this programme, which is pursuing research on the deployment of new sensors to monitor saline intrusions and on hydrodynamic modelling.

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