The hydrologic and solute budgets of a lake can be strongly influenced by transient groundwater flow. Several shallow interdunal lakes in southwest Spain are in close hydraulic connection with the shallow ground water. Two permanent lakes and one intermittent lake have chloride concentrations that differ by almost an order of magnitude. A two-dimensional solute-transport model, modified to simulate transient groundwater-lake interaction, suggests that the rising water table during the wet season leads to local flow reversals toward the lakes. Response of the individual lakes, however, varies depending on the lake's position in the regional flow system. The most dilute lake is a flow-through lake during the entire year; the through flow is driven by regional groundwater flow. The other permanent lake, which has a higher solute concentration, undergoes seasonal groundwater flow reversals at its downgradient end, resulting in complex seepage patterns and higher solute concentrations in the ground water near the lake. The solute concentration of the intermittent lake is influenced more strongly by the seasonal wetting and drying cycle than by the regional flow system. Although evaporation is the major process affecting the concentration of conservative solutes in the lakes, geochemical and biochemical reactions influence the concentration of nonconservative solutes. Probable reactions in the lakes include biological uptake of solutes and calcite precipitation; probable reactions as lake water seeps into the aquifer are sulfate reduction and calcite dissolution. Seepage reversals can result in water composition that appears inconsistent with predictions based on head measurements because, under transient flow conditions, the flow direction at any instant may not satisfactorily depict the source of the water. Understanding the dynamic nature of groundwater-lake interaction aids in the interpretation of hydrologic and chemical relations between the lakes and the ground water. ?? 1992.
Additional Publication Details
Seasonal dynamics of groundwater-lake interactions at Don??ana National Park, Spain