Representing glaciations and subglacial processes in hydrogeological models : a numerical investigation

Authors: Sterckx, ArnaudLemieux, Jean-Michel; Vaikmäe, Rein
Abstract: The specific impact of glacial processes on groundwater flow and solute transport under ice-sheets was determined by means of numerical simulations. Groundwater flow and the transport of δ18O, TDS, and groundwater age were simulated in a generic sedimentary basin during a single glacial event followed by a postglacial period. Results show that simulating subglacial recharge with a fixed flux boundary condition is relevant only for small fluxes, which could be the case under partially wet-based ice-sheets. Glacial loading decreases overpressures, which appear only in thick and low hydraulic diffusivity layers. If subglacial recharge is low, glacial loading can lead to underpressures after the retreat of the ice-sheet. Isostasy reduces considerably the infiltration of meltwater and the groundwater flow rates. Below permafrost, groundwater flow is reduced under the ice-sheet but is enhanced beyond the ice-sheet front. Accounting for salinity-dependent density reduces the infiltration of meltwater at depth. This study shows that each glacial process is potentially relevant in models of subglacial groundwater flow and solute transport. It provides a good basis for building and interpreting such models in the future.
Document Type: Article de recherche
Issue Date: 4 April 2017
Open Access Date: 30 May 2017
Document version: VoR
This document was published in: Geofluids, Vol. 2017 (2017)
Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Alternative version: 10.1155/2017/4598902
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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