Recharge and sustainability of a coastal aquifer in northern Albania

B1 Non-refereed journal articles


Internal Authors/Editors


Publication Details

List of Authors: X. Kumanova, S. Marku, S. Fröjdö, G. Jacks
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Place: Berlin Heidelberg
Publication year: 2014
Journal: Hydrogeology Journal
Volume number: 22
Issue number: 4
Start page: 883
End page: 892


Abstract

The River Mati in Albania has formed a coastal
plain with Holocene and Pleistocene sediments. The outer
portion of the plain is clay, with three underlying aquifers
that are connected to an alluvial fan at the entry of the
river into the plain. The aquifers supply water for 240,000
people. Close to the sea the aquifers are brackish. The
brackish water is often artesian and found to be thousands
of years old. Furthermore, the salinity, supported by δ18O
results, does not seem to be due to mixing with old
seawater but due to diffusion from intercalated clay layers.
Heavy metals from mines in the upstream section of River
Mati are not an immediate threat, as the pH buffering of
the river water is good. Moreover, the heavy metals are
predominantly found in suspended and colloidal phases.
Two sulphur isotope signatures, one mirroring seawater
sulphate in the brackish groundwater (δ34S >21 ‰) and
one showing the influence of sulphide in the river and the
fresh groundwater (δ34S <10 ‰), indicate that the
groundwater in the largest well field is recharged from
the river. The most serious threat is gravel extraction in the
alluvial fan, decreasing the hydraulic head necessary for
recharge and causing clogging of sediments.
The River Mati in Albania has formed a coastal
plain with Holocene and Pleistocene sediments. The outer
portion of the plain is clay, with three underlying aquifers
that are connected to an alluvial fan at the entry of the
river into the plain. The aquifers supply water for 240,000
people. Close to the sea the aquifers are brackish. The
brackish water is often artesian and found to be thousands
of years old. Furthermore, the salinity, supported by δ18O
results, does not seem to be due to mixing with old
seawater but due to diffusion from intercalated clay layers.
Heavy metals from mines in the upstream section of River
Mati are not an immediate threat, as the pH buffering of
the river water is good. Moreover, the heavy metals are
predominantly found in suspended and colloidal phases.
Two sulphur isotope signatures, one mirroring seawater
sulphate in the brackish groundwater (δ34S >21 ‰) and
one showing the influence of sulphide in the river and the
fresh groundwater (δ34S <10 ‰), indicate that the
groundwater in the largest well field is recharged from
the river. The most serious threat is gravel extraction in the
alluvial fan, decreasing the hydraulic head necessary for
recharge and causing clogging of sediments.


Keywords

Coastal aquifers, Groundwater recharge, Isotopes, Risk assessment

Last updated on 2019-23-09 at 04:12