- Hydrogeology of three Italian gypsum karst areas has been investigated
- Geochemistry of waters has been carried out
- Multiparametric loggers (T, EC and water level) have been installed
- Three different types of underground flow have been identified
- Three water circulation models in gypsum karst aquifers are defined
A Messinian succession containing gypsum beds crops out in northern Italy, mainly in Piedmont and along the northern flank of the Apennine mountains in Emilia-Romagna. These gypsum bodies have been extensively quarried at the surface, in outcrops, and through underground quarries. In Emilia-Romagna these gypsum outcrops can be rather extensive, several km long and up to 1 km wide, while in Piedmont they are mostly covered by silty-marly deposits of Upper Messinian and Pliocene age and show only sparse and small outcrops. The underground quarrying of these evaporite bodies in Piedmont has allowed studying in detail their hydrogeology, and the ways in which water flows through these karst rocks. In contrast, in Emilia-Romagna the hydrogeology of these aquifers has been studied with traditional spring water monitoring and speleological methods. On the basis of the results it has been possible to define three conceptual models regarding the water circulation in these evaporites, similar to the models existing for carbonate aquifers. The models represent aquifers with decreasing vulnerability to pollution, from the more vulnerable system with dominant conduit drainage, characterizing most of the known gypsum aquifers, to those with interconnected conduit drainage and with dispersive circulation.
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Vigna, Bartolomeo; Ilenia M. D'Angeli; Adriano Fiorucci; and Jo De Waele.
Hydrogeological flow in gypsum karst areas: some examples from northern Italy and main circulation models.
International Journal of Speleology,
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/ijs/vol46/iss2/7