GIS and SBF for estimating groundwater recharge of a mountainous basin in the Wu River watershed, Taiwan
Thursday, 18 December 2014
The temporal and spatial distributions of precipitation are extremely uneven, so making careful management of water resources in Taiwan is crucial. The long-term over-exploitation of groundwater resources poses a challenge to water resource management in Taiwan. However, assessing groundwater resources in mountainous basins is challenging due to limited information. In this study, a geographic information system (GIS) and stable base-flow (SBF) techniques were used to assess the characteristics of groundwater recharge considering the Wu River watershed in central Taiwan as a study area. First, a GIS approach was used to integrate five contributing factors: lithology, land cover/land use, lineaments, drainage, and slope. The weights of factors contributing to the groundwater recharge were obtained from aerial photos, geological maps, a land use database, and field verification. Second, the SBF was used to estimate the groundwater recharge in a mountainous basin scale. The concept of the SBF technique was to separate the base-flow from the total streamflow discharge in order to obtain a measure of groundwater recharge. The SBF technique has the advantage of integrating groundwater recharge across an entire basin without complex hydro-geologic modeling and detailed knowledge of the soil characteristics. In this study, our approach for estimating recharge provides not only an estimate of how much water becomes groundwater, but also explains the characteristics of a potential groundwater recharge zone.