The Influence of Fractures on Vulnerability to Pollution of a Carbonate Aquifer: Monte Conero (Italy)

Diaz General, Elizabeth Noemi (2013) The Influence of Fractures on Vulnerability to Pollution of a Carbonate Aquifer: Monte Conero (Italy), [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze ambientali: tutela e gestione delle risorse naturali, 25 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/5228.
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The carbonate outcrops of the anticline of Monte Conero (Italy) were studied in order to characterize the geometry of the fractures and to establish their influence on the petrophysical properties (hydraulic conductivity) and on the vulnerability to pollution. The outcrops form an analog for a fractured aquifer and belong to the Maiolica Fm. and the Scaglia Rossa Fm. The geometrical properties of fractures such as orientation, length, spacing and aperture were collected and statistically analyzed. Five types of mechanical fractures were observed: veins, joints, stylolites, breccias and faults. The types of fractures are arranged in different sets and geometric assemblages which form fracture networks. In addition, the fractures were analyzed at the microscale using thin sections. The fracture age-relationships resulted similar to those observed at the outcrop scale, indicating that at least three geological episodes have occurred in Monte Conero. A conceptual model for fault development was based on the observations of veins and stylolites. The fracture sets were modelled by the code FracSim3D to generate fracture network models. The permeability of a breccia zone was estimated at microscale by and point counting and binary image methods, whereas at the outcrop scale with Oda’s method. Microstructure analysis revealed that only faults and breccias are potential pathways for fluid flow since all veins observed are filled with calcite. According this, three scenarios were designed to asses the vulnerability to pollution of the analogue aquifer: the first scenario considers the Monte Conero without fractures, second scenario with all observed systematic fractures and the third scenario with open veins, joints and faults/breccias. The fractures influence the carbonate aquifer by increasing its porosity and hydraulic conductivity. The vulnerability to pollution depends also on the presence of karst zones, detric zones and the material of the vadose zone.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Diaz General, Elizabeth Noemi
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze della terra e dell'ambiente
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Carbonate fractured aquifer Mechanical fracture types Petrophysical properties Fault development conceptual model Discrete Fracture Networks (DFNs) Vulnerability to pollution
Data di discussione
26 Marzo 2013

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