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Evidence for rapid groundwater flow and karst-type behaviour in the Chalk of southern England

By A.M. MacDonald, L.J. Brewerton and D.J. Allen

Abstract

With the growing importance of groundwater protection, there is increasing concern about the possibility of rapid groundwater flow in the Chalk of southern England and therefore in the frequency and distribution of ‘karstic’ features. Pumping test data, although useful in quantifying groundwater resources and regional flow, give little information on groundwater flow at a local scale. Evidence for rapid groundwater flow is gathered from other, less quantifiable methods. Nine different strands of evidence are drawn together: tracer tests; observations from Chalk caves; Chalk boreholes that pump sand; descriptions of adits; the nature of water-level fluctuations; the Chichester flood; the nature of the surface drainage; geomorphological features; and the presence of indicator bacteria in Chalk boreholes. Although the evidence does not prove the widespread existence of karstic features, it does suggest that rapid groundwater flow should be considered seriously throughout the Chalk. Rapid groundwater flow is generally more frequent close to Palaeogene cover and may also be associated with other forms of cover and valley bottoms. \ud \u

Publisher: Geological Society of London
Year: 1998
DOI identifier: 10.1144/GSL.SP.1998.130.01.09
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:16335
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