Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2024-82
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2024-82
22 Apr 2024
 | 22 Apr 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Improvement of the thermal spring protection area through numerical modelling and interdisciplinary studies

Joaquín Sanz de Ojeda, Francisco Javier Elorza Tenreiro, and Eugenio Sanz Pérez

Abstract. The integration of different sources of geological and hydrogeological information and the application of interdisciplinary methods have informed the origin of the thermal springs of Alhama de Aragón and Jaraba, as well as others associated semi thermal springs (1,200 l/s of combined flow, 711 l/s at over 30 °C).

This issue is key to being able to design any sustainable conservation strategy in terms of quantity and quality of resources within the recharge area of the most important thermal springs in Spain.

The Upper Cretaceous limestones and dolomites constitute the main aquifer of the Alhama and Jaraba thermal system. It extends continuously under the slightly permeable Tertiary of the Almazán Basin in the form of a NW-SE "synclinorium". Its bottom has extensive depths of more than 3,000 and 4,000 m in the NE sector, which constitute the focus of heat considering normal geothermal gradients.

From the results of the modelling of the flow of this thermal system, it can be concluded that the origin of these springs comes mainly from the autogenous recharge that occurs in the Cretaceous calcareous outcrops that border the Almazán Basin to the north, both in the Ebro Basin (Jalón Valley) and in the more distant Duero Basin. The underground flow follows a NW-SE direction flowing across the Duero-Ebro divide, favored by the topographic difference in elevation between the two basins. The modelled regional flow is coherent with the progressive increase in temperature, water age, mineralization, and flow of the springs through which the system discharges.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Joaquín Sanz de Ojeda, Francisco Javier Elorza Tenreiro, and Eugenio Sanz Pérez

Status: open (until 17 Jun 2024)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2024-82', Jorge Yepes, 16 May 2024 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Joaquín Sanz De Ojeda, 22 May 2024 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2024-82', Anonymous Referee #2, 17 May 2024 reply
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Joaquín Sanz De Ojeda, 22 May 2024 reply
Joaquín Sanz de Ojeda, Francisco Javier Elorza Tenreiro, and Eugenio Sanz Pérez
Joaquín Sanz de Ojeda, Francisco Javier Elorza Tenreiro, and Eugenio Sanz Pérez

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Short summary
This study is part of the doctoral thesis of the first author and explores the enigma of the origin of the thermal springs of Alhama de Aragón and Jaraba. Through multidisciplinary research, numerous field visits and modeling of the regional flow of the thermal system, it has served to confirm and quantify various aspects of the initial hydrogeological conceptual model and to understand the origin of the largest thermal springs in Spain.