The present work aims to study the main chemical and physical water parameters in the upper and middle Volturno river catchment (southern Italy), between the Capo Volturno springs and the confluence with the Calore river. This study makes use of morphology, geolithology, tectonic, land use, and physico-chemical (pH, electrical conductivity, redox potential, temperature, major ions, and 222Rn) data for the identification of the main sources of surface and groundwaters in the Volturno catchment and of their evolution and mixing both in base flow and peak flow conditions. The study was also performed to assess whether the alteration due to potential anthropogenic contamination may hamper the identification of natural “primitive” sources of surface waters, especially in the populated and farmed plains far from the river headwaters. Our data suggest that water chemistry of this stretch of the Volturno river is dominated mainly by lithology and, only marginally, by the intense exogenous activities and that this trend is appreciable in both base flow and peak flow conditions. The proposed simple geochemical approach based on easy-to-sample matrices and on cost-effective standard methods is a valuable tool to address catchment functionality especially in upland areas, where complex geologic and structural settings, heterogeneous groundwater flow, and logistical issues are the rule rather than the exception. Because the upper and middle Volturno catchment is comparable with numerous valleys of the Mediterranean area, this study could be a reference for analogous applications.

Geolithological and anthropogenic controls on the hydrochemistry of the Volturno river (Southern Italy)

Colombani, Nicolò
Secondo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
2017

Abstract

The present work aims to study the main chemical and physical water parameters in the upper and middle Volturno river catchment (southern Italy), between the Capo Volturno springs and the confluence with the Calore river. This study makes use of morphology, geolithology, tectonic, land use, and physico-chemical (pH, electrical conductivity, redox potential, temperature, major ions, and 222Rn) data for the identification of the main sources of surface and groundwaters in the Volturno catchment and of their evolution and mixing both in base flow and peak flow conditions. The study was also performed to assess whether the alteration due to potential anthropogenic contamination may hamper the identification of natural “primitive” sources of surface waters, especially in the populated and farmed plains far from the river headwaters. Our data suggest that water chemistry of this stretch of the Volturno river is dominated mainly by lithology and, only marginally, by the intense exogenous activities and that this trend is appreciable in both base flow and peak flow conditions. The proposed simple geochemical approach based on easy-to-sample matrices and on cost-effective standard methods is a valuable tool to address catchment functionality especially in upland areas, where complex geologic and structural settings, heterogeneous groundwater flow, and logistical issues are the rule rather than the exception. Because the upper and middle Volturno catchment is comparable with numerous valleys of the Mediterranean area, this study could be a reference for analogous applications.
Cuoco, Emilio; Colombani, Nicolò; Darrah, Thomas H.; Mastrocicco, Micòl; Tedesco, Dario
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2384193
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