Articles | Volume 7, issue 1
28 Feb 2003
28 Feb 2003

Characterising and modelling groundwater discharge in anagricultural wetland on the French Atlantic coast

Ph. Weng, F. Giraud, P. Fleury, and C. Chevallier

Abstract. Interaction between a wetland and its surrounding aquifer was studied in the Rochefort agricultural marsh (150 km2). Groundwater discharge in the marsh was measured with a network of nested piezometers. Hydrological modelling of the wetland showed that a water volume of 770,000 m3 yr–1 is discharging into the marsh, but that this water flux essentially takes place along the lateral borders of the wetland. However, this natural discharge volume represents only 20% of the artificial freshwater injected each year into the wetland to maintain the water level close to the soil surface. Understanding and quantifying the groundwater component in wetland hydrology is crucial for wetland management and conservation.

Keywords: wetland, hydrology, groundwater, modelling, marsh