Groundwater in Fractured Bedrock Environments: Managing Catchment and Subsurface Resources

Country: Ireland

City: Belfast

Abstr. due: 27.11.2015

Dates: 10.06.16 — 10.06.16

Area Of Sciences: Geology and mineralogy; Geography;

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: Queen's University


Across the UK & Ireland, fractured bedrock aquifers have been traditionally regarded as low productivity aquifers, with only limited relevance to regional groundwater resources. But it has been increasingly recognised that these complex bedrock aquifers can play an important role in catchment management and subsurface energy systems.

At shallow to intermediate depth, fractured bedrock aquifers help to sustain surface water baseflows and groundwater dependent ecosystems, provide local groundwater supplies and impact on contaminant transfers on a catchment scale. At greater depths, understanding the properties and groundwater flow regimes of these complex bedrock environments can be crucial for the successful installation of subsurface energy and storage systems, such as deep geothermal or aquifer thermal energy storage systems and natural gas or CO2 storage facilities as well as the exploration of natural resources such as conventional/unconventional oil and gas.

In many scenarios, a robust understanding of fractured bedrock environments is required to assess the nature and extent of connectivity between such energy & storage systems at depth and overlying receptors in the shallow subsurface or above ground.

This conference will focus on the role of fractured bedrock aquifers in catchment management and in managing subsurface resources. The conference invites contributions that address effective methods to characterise these challenging aquifer systems, provide insights into the key processes driving the groundwater flow regime and contaminant transport in such formations and make links to the structural geological framework and geomechanics that shape the nature and extent of effective flowpaths in these aquifer systems.

As public consensus, built on transparent research and robust understanding becomes increasingly crucial with regard to planning/implementing subsurface infrastructure, exploration projects and to protecting water resources, the conference will provide an updated overview of current research and understanding across the UK and Ireland.

Conference Web-Site: