The Porto settlement (Northwest Portugal, Iberian Peninsula) was originally built in the twelfth century and has been developed on granitic hill slopes of the Douro riverside, being one of the oldest cities in Europe. In the urban area of Porto, the second most important city of the Portuguese mainland, there is a population of about 216,000 inhabitants. This study highlights the importance of urban speleological mapping applied to groundwater and geo-engineering studies. All the water that flows from the so-called Paranhos or Arca D’Água springs is captured by catchwork galleries and their utilization date back around 1120 AD. Paranhos spring galleries catchworks (c. 3,3 km extension and a -21m below ground level) was one of the main water supplies to Porto City for more than six centuries and, nowadays, these waters are still appropriate for irrigation uses. Topographical, geological, geophysical and hydrogeological data were collected and interpreted, allowing the definition of a hydrogeotechnical zoning. All these features were mapped and overlaid using GIS mapping techniques. This multidisciplinary approach offers a good potential for reliable urban speleological and geo-engineering studies of Arca D’Água site.
Chaminé, H. I.; M. J. Afonso; P. M. Robalo; P. Rodrigues; C. Cortez; F. A. Monteiro Santos; J. P. Plancha; P. E. Fonseca; A. Gomes; N. F. Devy-Vareta; J. M. Marques; M. E. Lopes; G. Fontes; A. Pires; and F. Rocha.
Urban speleology applied to groundwater and geo-engineering studies: underground topographic surveying of the ancient Arca D’Água galleries catchworks (Porto, NW Portugal).
International Journal of Speleology,
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/ijs/vol39/iss1/1