A comparative study of four schemes for groundwater vulnerability mapping in a diffuse flow carbonate aquifer under Mediterranean climatic conditions


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Environmental Geology

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This paper shows the results of a comparative study involving application of the vulnerability mapping methods known as AVI, GOD, DRASTIC and EPIK to a pilot carbonate massif in southern Spain, namely the Torremolinos aquifer. The main objectives of the study were to determine which methods are most suitable for diffuse flow carbonate aquifers such as in southern Spain, and to evaluate variations in the degree of vulnerability associated to the rainfall variations that normally occur in a Mediterranean climate. According to three of the above methods, the aquifer is moderately vulnerable, but the AVI method evaluated it as highly vulnerable—this, however, is improbable. The vulnerability maps reflect the great importance of geology-related parameters (mainly those concerned with lithology) and, to a lesser degree, that of the depth of the groundwater table which is related to the rainfall. After this latter parameter, it is possible to distinguish between humid and dry climatic situations; thus, vulnerability increases in a humid year, especially according to the GOD and AVI methods. In conclusion, the GOD method seems the most adequate of the methods applied in this work for vulnerability mapping of diffuse flow carbonate aquifers in the Mediterranean domains.

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