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Now showing 1 - 10 of 19
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    Transboundary geophysical mapping of geological elements and salinity distribution critical for the assessment of future sea water intrusion in response to sea level rise
    (Munich : EGU, 2012) Jørgensen, F.; Scheer, W.; Thomsen, S.; Sonnenborg, T.O.; Hinsby, K.; Wiederhold, H.; Schamper, C.; Burschil, T.; Roth, B.; Kirsch, R.; Auken, E.
    Geophysical techniques are increasingly being used as tools for characterising the subsurface, and they are generally required to develop subsurface models that properly delineate the distribution of aquifers and aquitards, salt/freshwater interfaces, and geological structures that affect groundwater flow. In a study area covering 730 km2 across the border between Germany and Denmark, a combination of an airborne electromagnetic survey (performed with the SkyTEM system), a high-resolution seismic survey and borehole logging has been used in an integrated mapping of important geological, physical and chemical features of the subsurface. The spacing between flight lines is 200–250 m which gives a total of about 3200 line km. About 38 km of seismic lines have been collected. Faults bordering a graben structure, buried tunnel valleys, glaciotectonic thrust complexes, marine clay units, and sand aquifers are all examples of geological structures mapped by the geophysical data that control groundwater flow and to some extent hydrochemistry. Additionally, the data provide an excellent picture of the salinity distribution in the area and thus provide important information on the salt/freshwater boundary and the chemical status of groundwater. Although the westernmost part of the study area along the North Sea coast is saturated with saline water and the TEM data therefore are strongly influenced by the increased electrical conductivity there, buried valleys and other geological elements are still revealed. The mapped salinity distribution indicates preferential flow paths through and along specific geological structures within the area. The effects of a future sea level rise on the groundwater system and groundwater chemistry are discussed with special emphasis on the importance of knowing the existence, distribution and geometry of the mapped geological elements, and their control on the groundwater salinity distribution is assessed.
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    Compiling geophysical and geological information into a 3-D model of the glacially-affected island of Föhr
    (Munich : EGU, 2012) Burschil, T.; Scheer, W.; Kirsch, R.; Wiederhold, H.
    Within the scope of climatic change and associated sea level rise, coastal aquifers are endangered and are becoming more a focus of research to ensure the future water supply in coastal areas. For groundwater modelling a good understanding of the geological/hydrogeological situation and the aquifer behavior is necessary. In preparation of groundwater modelling and assessment of climate change impacts on coastal water resources, we setup a geological/hydrogeological model for the North Sea Island of Föhr. Data from different geophysical methods applied from the air, the surface and in boreholes contribute to the 3-D model, e.g. airborne electromagnetics (SkyTEM) for spatial mapping the resistivity of the entire island, seismic reflections for detailed cross-sections in the groundwater catchment area, and geophysical borehole logging for calibration of these measurements. An iterative and integrated evaluation of the results from the different geophysical methods contributes to reliable data as input for the 3-D model covering the whole island and not just the well fields. The complex subsurface structure of the island is revealed. The local waterworks use a freshwater body embedded in saline groundwater. Several glaciations reordered the youngest Tertiary and Quaternary sediments by glaciotectonic thrust faulting, as well as incision and refill of glacial valleys. Both subsurface structures have a strong impact on the distribution of freshwater-bearing aquifers. A digital geological 3-D model reproduces the hydrogeological structure of the island as a base for a groundwater model. In the course of the data interpretation, we deliver a basis for rock identification. We demonstrate that geophysical investigation provide petrophysical parameters and improve the understanding of the subsurface and the groundwater system. The main benefit of our work is that the successful combination of electromagnetic, seismic and borehole data reveals the complex geology of a glacially-affected island. A sound understanding of the subsurface structure and the compilation of a 3-D model is imperative and the basis for a groundwater flow model to predict climate change effects on future water resources.
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    Uncertainty of simulated groundwater recharge at different global warming levels: a global-scale multi-model ensemble study
    (Munich : EGU, 2021) Reinecke, Robert; Müller Schmied, Hannes; Trautmann, Tim; Andersen, Lauren Seaby; Burek, Peter; Flörke, Martina; Gosling, Simon N.; Grillakis, Manolis; Hanasaki, Naota; Koutroulis, Aristeidis; Pokhrel, Yadu; Thiery, Wim; Wada, Yoshihide; Yusuke, Satoh; Döll, Petra
    Billions of people rely on groundwater as being an accessible source of drinking water and for irrigation, especially in times of drought. Its importance will likely increase with a changing climate. It is still unclear, however, how climate change will impact groundwater systems globally and, thus, the availability of this vital resource. Groundwater recharge is an important indicator for groundwater availability, but it is a water flux that is difficult to estimate as uncertainties in the water balance accumulate, leading to possibly large errors in particular in dry regions. This study investigates uncertainties in groundwater recharge projections using a multi-model ensemble of eight global hydrological models (GHMs) that are driven by the bias-adjusted output of four global circulation models (GCMs). Pre-industrial and current groundwater recharge values are compared with recharge for different global warming (GW) levels as a result of three representative concentration pathways (RCPs). Results suggest that projected changes strongly vary among the different GHM–GCM combinations, and statistically significant changes are only computed for a few regions of the world. Statistically significant GWR increases are projected for northern Europe and some parts of the Arctic, East Africa, and India. Statistically significant decreases are simulated in southern Chile, parts of Brazil, central USA, the Mediterranean, and southeastern China. In some regions, reversals of groundwater recharge trends can be observed with global warming. Because most GHMs do not simulate the impact of changing atmospheric CO2 and climate on vegetation and, thus, evapotranspiration, we investigate how estimated changes in GWR are affected by the inclusion of these processes. In some regions, inclusion leads to differences in groundwater recharge changes of up to 100 mm per year. Most GHMs with active vegetation simulate less severe decreases in groundwater recharge than GHMs without active vegetation and, in some regions, even increases instead of decreases are simulated. However, in regions where GCMs predict decreases in precipitation and where groundwater availability is the most important, model agreement among GHMs with active vegetation is the lowest. Overall, large uncertainties in the model outcomes suggest that additional research on simulating groundwater processes in GHMs is necessary.
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    Hydraulic characterisation of iron-oxide-coated sand and gravel based on nuclear magnetic resonance relaxation mode analyses
    (Munich : EGU, 2018) Costabel, Stephan; Weidner, Christoph; Müller-Petke, Mike; Houben, Georg
    The capability of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) relaxometry to characterise hydraulic properties of iron-oxide-coated sand and gravel was evaluated in a laboratory study. Past studies have shown that the presence of paramagnetic iron oxides and large pores in coarse sand and gravel disturbs the otherwise linear relationship between relaxation time and pore size. Consequently, the commonly applied empirical approaches fail when deriving hydraulic quantities from NMR parameters. Recent research demonstrates that higher relaxation modes must be taken into account to relate the size of a large pore to its NMR relaxation behaviour in the presence of significant paramagnetic impurities at its pore wall. We performed NMR relaxation experiments with water-saturated natural and reworked sands and gravels, coated with natural and synthetic ferric oxides (goethite, ferrihydrite), and show that the impact of the higher relaxation modes increases significantly with increasing iron content. Since the investigated materials exhibit narrow pore size distributions, and can thus be described by a virtual bundle of capillaries with identical apparent pore radius, recently presented inversion approaches allow for estimation of a unique solution yielding the apparent capillary radius from the NMR data. We found the NMR-based apparent radii to correspond well to the effective hydraulic radii estimated from the grain size distributions of the samples for the entire range of observed iron contents. Consequently, they can be used to estimate the hydraulic conductivity using the well-known Kozeny–Carman equation without any calibration that is otherwise necessary when predicting hydraulic conductivities from NMR data. Our future research will focus on the development of relaxation time models that consider pore size distributions. Furthermore, we plan to establish a measurement system based on borehole NMR for localising iron clogging and controlling its remediation in the gravel pack of groundwater wells.
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    Monitoring hillslope moisture dynamics with surface ERT for enhancing spatial significance of hydrometric point measurements
    (Munich : EGU, 2015) Hübner, R.; Heller, K.; Günther, T.; Kleber, A.
    Besides floodplains, hillslopes are basic units that mainly control water movement and flow pathways within catchments of subdued mountain ranges. The structure of their shallow subsurface affects water balance, e.g. infiltration, retention, and runoff. Nevertheless, there is still a gap in the knowledge of the hydrological dynamics on hillslopes, notably due to the lack of generalization and transferability. This study presents a robust multi-method framework of electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) in addition to hydrometric point measurements, transferring hydrometric data into higher spatial scales to obtain additional patterns of distribution and dynamics of soil moisture on a hillslope. A geoelectrical monitoring in a small catchment in the eastern Ore Mountains was carried out at weekly intervals from May to December 2008 to image seasonal moisture dynamics on the hillslope scale. To link water content and electrical resistivity, the parameters of Archie's law were determined using different core samples. To optimize inversion parameters and methods, the derived spatial and temporal water content distribution was compared to tensiometer data. The results from ERT measurements show a strong correlation with the hydrometric data. The response is congruent to the soil tension data. Water content calculated from the ERT profile shows similar variations as that of water content from soil moisture sensors. Consequently, soil moisture dynamics on the hillslope scale may be determined not only by expensive invasive punctual hydrometric measurements, but also by minimally invasive time-lapse ERT, provided that pedo-/petrophysical relationships are known. Since ERT integrates larger spatial scales, a combination with hydrometric point measurements improves the understanding of the ongoing hydrological processes and better suits identification of heterogeneities.
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    Poor correlation between large-scale environmental flow violations and freshwater biodiversity: implications for water resource management and the freshwater planetary boundary
    (Munich : EGU, 2022) Mohan, Chinchu; Gleeson, Tom; Famiglietti, James S.; Virkki, Vili; Kummu, Matti; Porkka, Miina; Wang-Erlandsson, Lan; Huggins, Xander; Gerten, Dieter; Jähnig, Sonja C.
    The freshwater ecosystems around the world are degrading, such that maintaining environmental flow Environmental flow (EF): "The quantity, timing, and quality of water flows required to sustain freshwater and estuarine ecosystems and the human livelihoods and well-being that depend on these ecosystems."- Arthington et al. (2018). (EF) in river networks is critical to their preservation. The relationship between streamflow alterations (subsequent EF violationsEF violations are deviations in streamflow beyond the upper and lower boundaries of environmental flow envelopes (EFEs). The EFEs establish an envelope for acceptable EF deviations based on pre-industrial (1801-1860) stream discharge (see Sect. 2.2 for more details)) and the freshwater biodiversity response is well established at the scale of stream reaches or small basins (g 1/4<100g km2). However, it is unclear if this relationship is robust at larger scales, even though there are large-scale initiatives to legalize the EF requirement. Moreover, EFs have been used in assessing a planetary boundaryPlanetary boundary: planetary boundary defines biogeophysical planetary-scale boundaries for Earth system processes that, if violated, can irretrievably impair the Holocene-like stability of the Earth system. for freshwater. Therefore, this study intends to conduct an exploratory evaluation of the relationship between EF violation and freshwater biodiversity at globally aggregated scales and for freshwater ecoregions. Four EF violation indices (severity, frequency, probability of shifting to a violated state, and probability of staying violated) and seven independent freshwater biodiversity indicators (calculated from observed biota data) were used for correlation analysis. No statistically significant negative relationship between EF violation and freshwater biodiversity was found at global or ecoregion scales. These findings imply the need for a holistic bio-geo-hydro-physical approach in determining the environmental flows. While our results thus suggest that streamflow and EF may not be the only determinant of freshwater biodiversity at large scales, they do not preclude the existence of relationships at smaller scales or with more holistic EF methods (e.g., including water temperature, water quality, intermittency, connectivity, etc.) or with other biodiversity data or metrics.
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    Global cotton production under climate change – Implications for yield and water consumption
    (Munich : EGU, 2021) Jans, Yvonne; von Bloh, Werner; Schaphoff, Sibyll; Müller, Christoph
    Being an extensively produced natural fiber on earth, cotton is of importance for economies. Although the plant is broadly adapted to varying environments, the growth of and irrigation water demand on cotton may be challenged by future climate change. To study the impacts of climate change on cotton productivity in different regions across the world and the irrigation water requirements related to it, we use the process-based, spatially detailed biosphere and hydrology model LPJmL (Lund Potsdam Jena managed land). We find our modeled cotton yield levels in good agreement with reported values and simulated water consumption of cotton production similar to published estimates. Following the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISIMIP) protocol, we employ an ensemble of five general circulation models under four representative concentration pathways (RCPs) for the 2011 2099 period to simulate future cotton yields. We find that irrigated cotton production does not suffer from climate change if CO2 effects are considered, whereas rainfed production is more sensitive to varying climate conditions. Considering the overall effect of a changing climate and CO2 fertilization, cotton production on current cropland steadily increases for most of the RCPs. Starting from _ 65 million tonnes in 2010, cotton production for RCP4.5 and RCP6.0 equates to 83 and 92 million tonnes at the end of the century, respectively. Under RCP8.5, simulated global cotton production rises by more than 50% by 2099. Taking only climate change into account, projected cotton production considerably shrinks in most scenarios, by up to one-Third or 43 million tonnes under RCP8.5. The simulation of future virtual water content (VWC) of cotton grown under elevated CO2 results for all scenarios in less VWC compared to ambient CO2 conditions. Under RCP6.0 and RCP8.5, VWC is notably decreased by more than 2000m3 t1 in areas where cotton is produced under purely rainfed conditions. By 2040, the average global VWC for cotton declines in all scenarios from currently 3300 to 3000m3 t1, and reduction continues by up to 30% in 2100 under RCP8.5. While the VWC decreases by the CO2 effect, elevated temperature acts in the opposite direction. Ignoring beneficial CO2 effects, global VWC of cotton would increase for all RCPs except RCP2.6, reaching more than 5000m3 t1 by the end of the simulation period under RCP8.5. Given the economic relevance of cotton production, climate change poses an additional stress and deserves special attention. Changes in VWC and water demands for cotton production are of special importance, as cotton production is known for its intense water consumption. The implications of climate impacts on cotton production on the one hand and the impact of cotton production on water resources on the other hand illustrate the need to assess how future climate change may affect cotton production and its resource requirements. Our results should be regarded as optimistic, because of high uncertainty with respect to CO2 fertilization and the lack of implementing processes of boll abscission under heat stress. Still, the inclusion of cotton in LPJmL allows for various large-scale studies to assess impacts of climate change on hydrological factors and the implications for agricultural production and carbon sequestration. © 2021 BMJ Publishing Group. All rights reserved.
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    Spectral induced polarization measurements for predicting the hydraulic conductivity in sandy aquifers
    (Munich : EGU, 2013) Attwa, M.; Günther, T.
    Field and laboratory spectral induced polarization (SIP) measurements are integrated to characterize the hydrogeological conditions at the Schillerslage test site in Germany. The phase images are capable of monitoring thin peat layers within the sandy aquifers. However, the field results show limitations of decreasing resolution with depth. In comparison with the field inversion results, the SIP laboratory measurements show a certain shift in SIP response due to different compaction and sorting of the samples. The SIP data are analyzed to derive an empirical relationship for predicting the hydraulic conductivity (K). In particular, two significant but weak correlations between individual real resistivities (ρ') and relaxation times (τ), based on a Debye decomposition (DD) model, with measured K are found for the upper groundwater aquifer. The maximum relaxation time (τmax) and logarithmically weighted average relaxation time (τlw) show a better relation with K values than the median value τ50. A combined power law relation between individual ρ' and τ with K is developed with an expression of A · (ρ')B · (τlw)C, where A, B and C are determined using a least-squares fit between the measured and predicted K. The suggested approach with the calculated coefficients of the first aquifer is applied for the second. Results show good correlation with the measured K indicating that the derived relationship is superior to single phase angle models as Börner or Slater models.
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    Ground-penetrating radar insight into a coastal aquifer: the freshwater lens of Borkum Island
    (Munich : EGU, 2013) Igel, J.; Günther, T.; Kuntzer, M.
    Freshwater lenses, as important resource for drinking water, are sensitive to climate changes and sea level rise. To simulate this impact on the groundwater systems, hydraulic subsurface models have to be designed. Geophysical techniques can provide information for generating realistic models. The aim of our work is to show how ground-penetrating radar (GPR) investigations can contribute to such hydrological simulations. In the pilot area, Borkum island, GPR was used to map the shape of the groundwater table (GWT) and to characterise the aquifer. In total, 20 km of constant offset (CO) profiles were measured with centre frequencies of 80 and 200 MHz. Wave velocities were determined by common midpoint (CMP) measurements and vertical radar profiling (VRP) in a monitoring well. The 80 MHz CO data show a clear reflection at the groundwater table, whereas the reflection is weaker for the 200 MHz data. After correcting the GPR water tables for the capillary rise, they are in good accordance with the pressure heads of the observation wells in the area. In the centre of the island, the groundwater table is found up to 3.5 m above sea level, however it is lower towards the coastline and marshland. Some local depressions are observed in the region of dune valleys and around pumping stations of the local water supplier. GPR also reveals details within the sediments and highly-permeable aeolian sands can be distinguished from less-permeable marine sediments. Further, a silt loam layer below the water table could be mapped on a large area. The reflection characteristics indicates scattered erosion channels in this layer that cause it to be an aquitard with some leakage. GPR provides a high resolution map of the groundwater table and insight into the stratigraphy of the sediments and their hydraulic properties. This is valuable complementary information to the observation of sparsely distributed monitoring wells as input to hydraulic simulation.
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    Global scenarios of irrigation water abstractions for bioenergy production: a systematic review
    (Munich : EGU, 2021) Stenzel, Fabian; Gerten, Dieter; Hanasaki, Naota
    Many scenarios of future climate evolution and its anthropogenic drivers include considerable amounts of bioenergy as a fuel source, as a negative emission technology, and for providing electricity. The associated freshwater abstractions for irrigation of dedicated biomass plantations might be substantial and therefore potentially increase water limitation and stress in affected regions; however, assumptions and quantities of water use provided in the literature vary strongly. This paper reviews existing global assessments of freshwater abstractions for bioenergy production and puts these estimates into the context of scenarios of other water-use sectors. We scanned the available literature and (out of 430 initial hits) found 16 publications (some of which include several bioenergy-water-use scenarios) with reported values on global irrigation water abstractions for biomass plantations, suggesting water withdrawals in the range of 128.4 to 9000 km3 yr−1, which would come on top of (or compete with) agricultural, industrial, and domestic water withdrawals. To provide an understanding of the origins of this large range, we present the diverse underlying assumptions, discuss major study differences, and calculate an inverse water-use efficiency (iwue), which facilitates comparison of the required freshwater amounts per produced biomass harvest. We conclude that due to the potentially high water demands and the tradeoffs that might go along with them, bioenergy should be an integral part of global assessments of freshwater demand and use. For interpreting and comparing reported estimates of possible future bioenergy water abstractions, full disclosure of parameters and assumptions is crucial. A minimum set should include the complete water balances of bioenergy production systems (including partitioning of blue and green water), bioenergy crop species and associated water-use efficiencies, rainfed and irrigated bioenergy plantation locations (including total area and meteorological conditions), and total biomass harvest amounts. In the future, a model intercomparison project with standardized parameters and scenarios would be helpful.