Electrical imaging of karst terrene for managed aquifer recharge: A case study from Raipur, central India

Abstract

Supply of sustainable water is a priority for urbanization of the country. Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) is recommended to enhance the groundwater resources, but finding the favorable site for MAR is quite challenging, particularly, in urbanized karst terrains because of highly heterogeneous and anisotropic properties of carbonate aquifers. The expansion along Naya Raipur is posing a severe threat to its groundwater resources by altering the hydrological framework in the area. In this work, we characterize the unsaturated zone for finding potential pathways for MAR in karst terrain of central India by using hydro-geophysical techniques. Sub-surface geophysical investigations including electrical sounding and profiling, captured the shallow surface of the area to the depth of around 40 m. The Wenner–Schlumberger and gradient methods could decipher strong lateral and vertical anomalies. The low resistivity in the unsaturated zone, as compared to the high resistivity of limestone bedrock is the main path for infiltration. The low resistivity anomalies in the 2D inverted sections might be water filled conduits or solution channels with uncertain geometry. Hydrogeological heterogeneity based on geophysical data helped to locate the favourable zones for construction of MAR structures. The Chokra Nala in the Telibandha area of Raipur is the favorable zone along which MAR could be more effective in replenishing the groundwater. The Telibandha lake area with the indication of the presence of hidden mafic dyke later intruding the limestone after its deposition, was also inferred from the geophysical data.

Highlights

  1. 1.

    Characterizing the unsaturated zone for finding potential pathways for MAR in karst terrain using hydro-geophysical techniques.

  2. 2.

    Establishing MAR along the solution channels, conduits and fracture network.

  3. 3.

    3D fracture system in limestone from 2D ERT profiles.

  4. 4.

    Mapping hydrogeological heterogeneity based on geophysical data.

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Acknowledgements

Director CSIR-NGRI is acknowledged for the support during the work. The research was funded (grant agreement No. 282911) by the European Commission (EC) under the 7th framework project title ‘SAPH PANI’ (http://www.saphpani.eu/). Authors are grateful to Prof. T Dahlin for critically viewing the manuscript and helping in improving this publication. The field support from Tarun Gaur and Deepak Kumar is recognized in collecting geophysical data. Editor and Reviewers are highly acknowledged for bringing out this manuscript as per the expectation of the readers.

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Contributions

The first author TA is responsible for designing the survey strategy, data processing and data interpretation. TA is the lead from inception of this work towards the writing of this publication. TW helped in translating geophysical models into geological cross sections. FAD provided the geological inputs for interpretation of the acquired dataset. SA contributed in providing his guidance during the whole process of bringing out this publication.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Tanvi Arora.

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Communicated by Arkoprovo Biswas

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Arora, T., Warsi, T., Dar, F.A. et al. Electrical imaging of karst terrene for managed aquifer recharge: A case study from Raipur, central India. J Earth Syst Sci 130, 14 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12040-020-01514-w

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Keywords

  • Electrical resistivity tomography
  • karst aquifer
  • managed aquifer recharge (MAR)