22-27 September 2019
Trade Fairs and Congress Center (FYCMA)
Europe/Madrid timezone

Groundwater-Surface water interactions in natural wetlands: a multidisciplinary approach to unravel a neglected issue

27 Sep 2019, 12:00
Conference room 1.A ()

Conference room 1.A

Oral Topic 6 - Groundwater, wetlands and natural heritage Parallel


Mr Nathan Burt (MSc student IHE Delft water institute )


Wetlands are a vital water resource and ecosystem. However, wetlands are often subject to increased water pressures from anthropogenic sources. One of the missing pieces in the puzzle in much of the research upon wetlands is groundwater-surface water interaction. The quantification of groundwater inputs into a wetland allows stakeholders a greater understanding of the dynamics of the wetland. This aids in the effective management of this vital resource. This study aims to identify wetland groundwater-surface water interactions in the Kafue Flats, Zambia. The Kafue Flats is a large complex system of inland wetlands, listed as a wetland of international importance under the RAMSAR Convention. Remote sensing, hydrochemical and isotopic analysis, field observation methods will be employed. Recent advances in remote sensing technologies such as the Google Earth Engine and associated data catalogues will be utilised. Temporal and spatial changes in multiple multispectral indices will be used to identify the possible surface expressions of groundwater. The chemical and isotopic analysis, as well as hydrometric field measurements, will be performed upon the locations identified by remote sensing as possible groundwater surface expressions. This combined approach will identify and quantify, utilising mass balance calculations the groundwater-surface water interactions of the Kafue flats. The methods employed within this paper will be applicable in the identification and quantification of groundwater dependent ecosystems and wetlands globally.

Primary author

Mr Nathan Burt (MSc student IHE Delft water institute )


Tibor Stigter (IHE Delft Institute for Water Education) Prof. Paolo Paron (Senior Lecturer in Hydraulic Engineering and River Basin Development at IHE Delft Institute for Water Education) Prof. Mário Franca (UN-IHE) Dr Gretchen Gettel (UN-IHE)

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