Alpine hydrogeology: groundwater flow and storage in moraine and talus sedimentsExport this event to calendar

Monday, September 26, 2011 — 10:30 AM EDT

Speaker: Masaki Hayashi, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Physical Hydrology. Department of Geoscience, University of Calgary, Canada.

Abstract: 

Understanding groundwater processes in alpine watersheds is critical to understanding the timing of water research and late-season stream flow for both headwater and downstream environments. Previous studies have indicated potential importance of moraine and talus units as groundwater reservoirs based on chemical and isotopic composition of stream water. However, mechanistic understanding of groundwater processes is limited due to a small number of hydrogeological studies in alpine environments. I will present the results of detailed hydrological and geophysical studies in a partially glaciated watershed of the Canadian Rockies. Seismic refraction, electrical resistivity imaging, and ground penetrating radar have been used to delineate the internal structure of moraine and talus deposits, and to identify groundwater reservoirs and pathways. Hydrological monitoring and data analysis have been used to examine connectivity between surface water and groundwater, and to estimate hydraulic properties of sediments. The key findings are:

  • proglacial moraine has significant capacity to store groundwater, but talus appears to have limited storage capacity
  • the topography of bedrock surface underlying coarse sediments has a strong influence on groundwater flow
  • ground ice and buried ice may have important hydrological functions that require further investigation.
Location 
DC - William G. Davis Computer Research Centre
room 1304
200 University Ave West

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
Canada

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