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Groundwater exploration in rural Scotland using geophysical techniques

By A.M. MacDonald, D.F. Ball and D.M. McCann


Identifying the location, size, and characteristics of small aquifers is becoming increasingly important in Scotland with the growing demand for groundwater to supply isolated rural communities. These small, localized aquifers are found within superficial deposits, such as alluvium, blown sands and raised beach deposits, and in fracture zones in the underlying bedrock. Geophysical techniques offer a rapid and inexpensive method of characterizing these aquifers. Electromagnetic techniques using EM34 and EM31 instruments have proved useful in identifying variations in the thickness of superficial deposits and detecting buried channels, for example, at Palnure, SW Scotland. Ground penetrating radar has been used at several locations, including the island of Coll, to detect the boundary between bedrock and alluvium or blown sand. More detailed techniques, such as resistivity soundings, seismic refraction and resistivity tomography have been used to identify fractures in basement rocks and help calibrate the other methods, for example at Foyers, near Loch Ness. Magnetic profiling has also been used to locate dykes (acting as hydraulic barriers) within Permian aquifers in the west of Scotland. \ud \u

Topics: Earth Sciences, Hydrology
Publisher: Geological Society of London
Year: 2000
DOI identifier: 10.1144/GSL.SP.2000.182.01.19
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