Skip to main content


Title: An approach to hydrogeological assessment of Quaternary deposits in the UK: Part 1 Background
Document Type: Monograph
Annotation: Environment Agency Project ID:EAPRJOUT_1343, Representation ID: 447, Object ID: 2518
WFD 34 An approach to assessment of Quaternary deposits in the UK (October 2006) Project funders/partners: SNIFFER, Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Environment and Heritage Service. Background to research Superficial deposits are an important moderator of potential recharge to a bedrock aquifer and they form a key component of the vulnerability of that aquifer to pollution. Understanding the processes by which superficial deposits transmit recharging water to the water table and how the deposits attenuate pollutants as the water passes through them is a vital component of the characterisation of groundwater bodies as required by the Water Framework Directive. Superficial deposits may modify both storage and vertical transport of recharge. In particular: a the quantity of recharge (and/or its spatial distribution) to the underlying aquifer; a the vulnerability of the aquifer to pollution (absorption potential of the deposits, i.e. presence of clay minerals and/or organic material such as peat); a the characteristics of the groundwater system (especially aquifer storativity); a groundwater quality (infiltration moving downwards through these deposits to the underlying aquifer may mobilise solutes). Objectives of research The project aims to improve the understanding and analysis of the hydrogeological processes pertaining to recharge and attenuation that occur in the Quaternary superficial deposits in the UK. The objectives are: a to develop a fit-for-purpose method for improving the current hydrogeological understanding of Quaternary deposits; a to provide a longer-term strategy to develop this method to satisfy the increased hydrogeological understanding of superficial deposits that will be required for many elements of the Water Framework Directive, including further characterisation, monitoring site selection, and programme of measures. This report (Part 1) presents a background to the issues and a summary of current knowledge, and includes: a a review of approaches taken to Quaternary hydrogeological interpretation within the UK and elsewhere; and a identification and description of the key factors for Quaternary hydrogeological assessment of water bodies as required by the Water Framework Directive. The main components of the developed project methodology, future application and development opportunities are described in the accompanying Part 2 report. Key findings and recommendations The scale-independent methodology has been trialled for the whole of the UK and compared against existing assessments of groundwater recharge and groundwater vulnerability. These comparisons show that the methodology produces broadly similar results to existing assessments. However, the methodology follows a rigid and defensible protocol and as such is i an attractive alternative to existing schemes. It is recommended that the methodology be used to populate a new database, derived from 1: 50 000 scale input data, in order to develop a useable vulnerability assessment to assist in the further characterization of groundwater bodies. Key words: Quaternary, recharge potential, absorption potential, groundwater vulnerability, hydrogeological domains ii SNIFFER WFD 34: An approach to hydrogeological assessment of Quaternary deposits in the UK Part 1 October, 2006 TABLE OF CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Publisher: Environment Agency
Subject Keywords: Quanternary; Recharge potential; Absorption potential; Groundwater vulnerability; Hydrogeological domains
Extent: 43
Total file downloads: 8

Download PDF    Display PDF in separate tab