Geochemical evolution of groundwater in carbonate aquifers of southern Latium region, central Italy

Giuseppe Sappa, Sibel Ergul, Flavia Ferranti
  • Giuseppe Sappa
    Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Edile ed Ambientale, Sapienza - Università di Roma, Italy | giuseppe.sappa@uniroma1.it
  • Sibel Ergul
    Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Edile ed Ambientale, Sapienza - Università di Roma, Italy
  • Flavia Ferranti
    Centro Reatino di ricerche di Ingegneria per la Tutela e la Valorizzazione dell’Ambiente e del Territorio, Sapienza - Università di Roma, Italy

Abstract

Spring and well water samples, from carbonate aquifers of Latium region, have been characterized to determine the hydrochemical processes governing the evolution of the groundwater. Most of the spring samples, issuing from Lepini, Ausoni and Aurunci Mts., are characterized as alkaline earth HCO3 waters, however, some samples show a composition of Cl--SO4 -- alkaline earth waters. Groundwater samples from Pontina Plain shows three different hydrochemical facies: alkaline earth HCO3 type, Cl-- SO4 -- alkaline earth type and Cl--SO4 -- alkaline type waters. Geochemical modeling and saturation index computation of the sampled waters show an interaction with calcareous and calcareous-dolomitic lithologies. Most of the springs and wells was kinetically saturated with respect to calcite and dolomite, and all the samples were below the equilibrium state with gypsum. This indicates that the groundwater has capacity to dissolve the gypsum along the flow paths. The electrical conductivity and Cl- concentrations of the sampled waters show a positive trend with the decrease in the distance from the coast, highlighting seawater intrusion in the coastal area. According to hydrochemistry results and geochemical modeling, the dominant factors in controlling the hydrochemical characteristics of groundwater are: (i) water rock interaction with calcareous and calcareous-dolomitic lithologies; (ii) seawater intrusion in the coastal area; (iii) dissolution and/or precipitation of carbonate and (i.e. dolomite and calcite) evaporate minerals (gypsum) determined by saturation indexes; (iv) mineral weathering process; (the high Mg/Ca ratio due to the weathering of Mg-rich dolomite).

Keywords

hydrochemistry, hydrogeochemical modeling, salinization, karst, aquifer

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Submitted: 2012-11-30 15:42:17
Published: 2013-03-30 00:00:00
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