Insight into the Katari-Lago Menor Basin aquifer, Lake Titicaca-Bolivia, inferred from geophysical (TDEM), hydrogeological and geochemical data

Gabriela Patricia Flores Avilés, Marc Descloitres, Céline Duwig, Yvan Rossier, Lorenzo Spadini, Anatoly Legchenko, Álvaro Soruco, Jaime Argollo, Mayra Pérez, Waldo Medinaceli

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7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The increasing demand for water and irrigation in the semi-arid Bolivian Altiplano requires a better knowledge of the available resources, particularly groundwater. The aim of this study is to provide a first insight into the hydrogeological structure (0–200 m deep) and groundwater dynamics of the Katari-Lago Menor Basin aquifer located between the Eastern Cordillera and Lake Titicaca, Bolivia. This aquifer is studied using geophysical data (a total of 187 Time Domain Electromagnetic (TDEM) soundings), piezometric data (97 groundwater level measurements) and geochemical data (52 groundwater samples), combined with geological, lithological and topographical information. The results allowed identifying stratigraphic models consistent with the Quaternary sediments being hydraulically connected and behaving as a single regional basin-aquifer. This basin-aquifer is delimited by the most ancient lake invasions towards the southern, western and northern sides and by the lower limit of rock glaciers towards the eastern side. A large portion of the aquifer presents an unconfined behaviour varying from 50 to 150 m while the confined portion varies from 100 to 150 m. Groundwater flow within the Katari and Lago Menor Basin aquifer is composed of several interconnected groundwater flow systems. The main groundwater flow system starts in the high mountain ranges of the Eastern Cordillera, follows the topographic Piedmont gradient (NE to SW) and discharges in a series of wetlands. This multidisciplinary approach proved to be an appropriate method to derive a consistent picture of the hydrogeological functioning of the Katari-Lago Menor Basin aquifer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102479
JournalJournal of South American Earth Sciences
Volume99
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The present study was undertaken with the financial support of the Plurinational State of Bolivia provided through the Program “100 Scholarships for Postgraduate Education within the Framework of Technological and Scientific Sovereignty”, Supreme Decree 2100 (1 September 2014) and administered by the Ministry of Education (MINEDU, Bolivia). And partly funded by LABEX OSUG@2020, ANR grant no. ANR-10-LABX-56 (financed by the Future Investments programme launched by the French government and implemented by the ANR). We would like to thanks to the Ministry of Environment and Water (M.M.A.yA, La Paz) and the University of San Andres (UMSA, La Paz) for their logistical and technical support. Special thanks to Marizol Flores, Elise Levasseur, Enrique and Mr. Julio César Salinas for their assistance in the field work, to the IGE laboratory for their technical assistance and support during the analysis of the water samples, and to the local communities of the Municipalities of Pucarani, Batallas, Laja, Viacha, Puerto Pérez and El Alto for their support during the field work.

Funding Information:
The present study was undertaken with the financial support of the Plurinational State of Bolivia provided through the Program “100 Scholarships for Postgraduate Education within the Framework of Technological and Scientific Sovereignty”, Supreme Decree 2100 (1 September 2014) and administered by the Ministry of Education ( MINEDU, Bolivia ). And partly funded by LABEX OSUG@2020 , ANR grant no. ANR-10-LABX-56 (financed by the Future Investments programme launched by the French government and implemented by the ANR). We would like to thanks to the Ministry of Environment and Water (M.M.A.yA, La Paz) and the University of San Andres (UMSA, La Paz) for their logistical and technical support. Special thanks to Marizol Flores, Elise Levasseur, Enrique and Mr. Julio César Salinas for their assistance in the field work, to the IGE laboratory for their technical assistance and support during the analysis of the water samples, and to the local communities of the Municipalities of Pucarani, Batallas, Laja, Viacha, Puerto Pérez and El Alto for their support during the field work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Groundwater resources
  • Katari-Lago Menor Basin aquifer
  • Time-domain electromagnetic soundings

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