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Petrella, E.; Celico, F.
Mixing of water in a carbonate aquifer, southern italy, analysed through stable isotope investigations
International Journal of Speleology
Tampa
2013
42
1
25
33

Mixing of water was analysed in a carbonate aquifer, southern Italy, through stable isotope investigations (18O,δ2H). The input signal (rainwater) was compared with the isotopic content of a 35-meter groundwater vertical profile, over a 1-year period. Within the studied aquifer, recharge and flow are diffuse in a well-connected fissure network.

At the test site, the comparison between input and groundwater isotopic signals illustrates that no efficient mixing takes place in the whole unsaturated zone, between the fresh infiltration water and the stored water.

When analysing the stable isotope composition of groundwater, significant variations were observed above the threshold elevation of 1062 m asl, while a nearly constant composition was observed below the same threshold. Thus, temporal variations in stable isotope composition of rainwater are completely attenuated just in the deeper phreatic zone.

On the whole, taking into consideration also the results of previous studies in the same area, the investigations showed that physical characteristics of the carbonate bedrock, as well as aquifer heterogeneity, are factors of utmost importance in influencing the complete mixing of water. These findings suggest a more complex scenario at catchment scale.

aquifer heterogeneity; carbonate aquifer; mixing processes; stable isotopes; southern Italy
0392-6672
http://dx.doi.org/10.5038/1827-806X.42.1.4
Petrella, E.; Celico, F. , 2013, Mixing of water in a carbonate aquifer, southern italy, analysed through stable isotope investigations , International Journal of Speleology , 42 , 25 - 33 , PDF