A large tank (1.4 m x 4.0 m x 1.3 m) filled with medium-coarse sand was employed to measure evaporation rates from shallow groundwater at controlled laboratory conditions, to determine drivers and mechanisms. To monitor the groundwater level drawdown 12 piezometers were installed in a semi regular grid and equipped with high precision water level, temperature, and electrical conductivity (EC) probes. In each piezometer, 6 micro sampling ports were installed every 10 cm to capture vertical salinity gradients. Moreover, the soil water content, temperature and EC were measured in the unsaturated zone using TDR probes placed at 5, 20 and 40 cm depth. The monitoring started in February 2020 and lasted for 4 months until the groundwater drawdown became residual. To model the groundwater heads, temperature, and salinity variations SEAWAT 4.0 was employed. The calibrated model was then used to obtain the unknown parameters, such as: maximum evaporation rates (1.5-4.4 mm/d), extinction depth (0.90 m), mineral dissolution (5.0e-9 g/d) and evaporation concentration (0.35 g/L). Despite the drawdown was uniformly distributed, the increase of groundwater salinity was rather uneven, while the temperature increase mimicked the atmospheric temperature increase. The initial groundwater salinity and the small changes in the evaporation rate controlled the evapoconcentration process in groundwater, while the effective porosity was the most sensitive parameter. This study demonstrates that shallow groundwater evaporation from sandy soils can produce homogeneous water table drawdown but appreciable differences in the distribution of groundwater salinity.

Modelling Shallow Groundwater Evaporation Rates from a Large Tank Experiment

Colombani N.;Fronzi D.;Gaiolini M.;Gervasio M. P.;Marcellini M.;Tazioli A.
2021-01-01

Abstract

A large tank (1.4 m x 4.0 m x 1.3 m) filled with medium-coarse sand was employed to measure evaporation rates from shallow groundwater at controlled laboratory conditions, to determine drivers and mechanisms. To monitor the groundwater level drawdown 12 piezometers were installed in a semi regular grid and equipped with high precision water level, temperature, and electrical conductivity (EC) probes. In each piezometer, 6 micro sampling ports were installed every 10 cm to capture vertical salinity gradients. Moreover, the soil water content, temperature and EC were measured in the unsaturated zone using TDR probes placed at 5, 20 and 40 cm depth. The monitoring started in February 2020 and lasted for 4 months until the groundwater drawdown became residual. To model the groundwater heads, temperature, and salinity variations SEAWAT 4.0 was employed. The calibrated model was then used to obtain the unknown parameters, such as: maximum evaporation rates (1.5-4.4 mm/d), extinction depth (0.90 m), mineral dissolution (5.0e-9 g/d) and evaporation concentration (0.35 g/L). Despite the drawdown was uniformly distributed, the increase of groundwater salinity was rather uneven, while the temperature increase mimicked the atmospheric temperature increase. The initial groundwater salinity and the small changes in the evaporation rate controlled the evapoconcentration process in groundwater, while the effective porosity was the most sensitive parameter. This study demonstrates that shallow groundwater evaporation from sandy soils can produce homogeneous water table drawdown but appreciable differences in the distribution of groundwater salinity.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11566/292982
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