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SOME PROBLEMS CONCERNING DELINEATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF GROUNDWATER BODIES IN BULGARIA

Boyka Mihaylova, Rossitza Gorova, Aleksey Benderev Geological Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Science Sofia, Bulgaria

Abstract
In view of the forthcoming acceptance of Bulgaria in the European Union it is necessary Bulgarian legislation to be harmonized with the EU legislation Groundwater bodies (GWBs) in Bulgaria have been delineated along with their initial characterization, for the purpose of implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). These tasks have been accomplished by a large collective of specialists including these from Geological Institute at Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. The specific features of our country related to various physio-geographical conditions (relief, climatic characteristics, surface waters), complicated geological structure, unevenly distribution of the population density, and multifarious kinds of human impact make difficult separation of the water bodies according to the requirements of the WFD. Therefore it was done on the basis of development of aquifer formations with similar lithological characteristics, in spite of the fact that some of GWBs may belong to several catchment areas. Because of the layered location of the groundwater bodies it becomes necessary to present them in different layers in geographic information system (GIS). Another kind of obstacles is related to insufficient exploration of some GWBs. During overcoming of these obstacles, the collective applied different approaches for each body. Several examples are given in this relation. Keywords: groundwater, groundwater bodies, Bulgaria, GIS

Introduction
In view of the forthcoming acceptance of Bulgaria in the European union it is necessary Bulgarian legislation to be harmonized with the EU legislation. This refers to the groundwater management legislation as well. Main EU document in this respect is the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC. First step of the implementation is localizing and outlining of the water bodies in the country and their initial characterization. This activity was done from wide circle of Bulgarian specialists within the framework of BulgarianDutch project Ref. PPA02/BG/7/1 Strengthening of the capacity and enhancement of the National Groundwater Monitoring System of Bulgaria towards implementation of the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC 2004-2005. Collecting of indispensable minimum complex hydrogeological data for each particular water body is necessary for the River Basin Directorates. This information is the basis for assessment and management of the water resources, planning of monitoring activities and assessment of the risk to pollution of the groundwater.

Formation of groundwater in Bulgaria


The relief of Bulgaria is extremely diverse. The average altitude of the country is 470 m. The largest area of the territory of Bulgaria (41%) is occupied by a the hilly zone with altitude from 200 to 600 m; the lowland zone (from 0 to 200 m) occupies 31%, the low and the middle mountainous zone (from 600 to 1600 m) occupies about 20% from the territory and high mountainous zone occupies about 3%. The basic morphologic units in Bulgaria (from North to South) are: - Danube plain - with predominant lowland and plateau-hilly relief; - Balkan Mountains Ridge with predominant mountain relief; -Transitional mountain-valley area with quite varied relief, which represents the passage between Balkan Mountains Ridge and Rilo-Rhodopean massif; - Rilo-Rhodopean massif occupies the southern part of the country, with predominant mountain relief; The territory of the country is a part of the Alps-Himalayan orogenic zone and is characterized with extremely complicated tectonic structure. The Northern part of the country falls into the so-called

Moesian platform. The platform extends to the south approximately to the Balkan Mountains Ridge. The southern part of the country is complexly tectonically broken as a result of the movement of the tectonic plate (fragment of which is the Rilo-Rhodopean massif) to the south. Mountainous massifs built from Precambrian, Paleozoic and Mesozoic metamorphic, sediments, volcanic-sediments and intrusive rocks are formed. Graben depressions filled with Neozoic, mainly Pliocene-Quaternary unconsolidated sediments are formed between them. The tectonic structure is of important significance for the formation of the different hydrogeological units and for the interaction between them. It plays essential role in the formation of fractured waters and thermomineral water deposits in Balkan Mountain and Southern Bulgaria. With respect to the main factors (physico-geographical and geological), which predetermine the occurrence, origin, quantity, regime and dynamics of the different groundwater types, Bulgaria is divided into 3 hydrogeological regions (Antonov, Danchev, 1980; Spassov et al., 2003) (Fig.1):

Moesian Region

Balkan Region

Rilo-Rhodopean region

Fig. 1. Hydrogeological regions in Bulgaria - Moesian hydrogeological region In the structure of Moesian hydrogeological region (as a platform) two structure levels are distinguished: lower - folded, also called foundation, and upper - non-folded, which represent the platform cover. The wide diversity of rocks with different lithological structure, physical condition and structural orientation, building the region, enabled various groundwater types to be formed in the rocks - porous, karst and fractured, unconfined and confined. In general the region is characterized with: - occurrence of aquifers at different levels; - vertical hydrochemical zoning of the groundwaters. Three zones can be outlined: a) upper zone with active water exchange and fresh confined and unconfined groundwaters; b) middle zone with retarded water exchange and higher water mineralization and temperature; c) lower zone practically without water exchange, with high water mineralization and temperature. - along the lines of the tectonic faults at many places there is hydraulic connection between the aquifers, which in general are well isolated; - wide spreading of the pre - Quaternary aquifers; - Balkan Hydrogeological region This region includes the area between Rilo-Rhodopean region to the south and Moesian region to the north. The two borders of the region are deep faults. The complicated tectonic structure, complex relief shapes and deep drainage of the mountainous folded systems creates specific conditions for the origin, formation, regime and dynamics of the groundwater. The region is characterized with:

- presence of numerous folded anticlinal and synclinal structures, in which aquifers are included. In some cases the folded structures are isolated and represent independent groundwater reservoirs, in the others they are hydraulically connected and form joint reservoir where the water is passing from one structure to the other; - wide spreading of graben structures (superimposed depressions and kettles), which are filled mainly with Pliocene and Quaternary sediments. In hydrogeological aspect the kettles represent independent reservoirs with considerable resources of confined and unconfined fresh water. - Rilo-Rhodopean hydrogeological region The Rhodopean massif, Rila, Pirin, Ograjden, Belasitsa and Malashevska mountains are included in this region. The relief is complicated and has mountainous (in the eastern part), highmountainous and sub-alpine (Rila and Pirin mountains) character. The region is deeply drained from the river-ravine network, which density is more than 2 km/km2. Archean, Proterozoic, Paleozoic, Pliocene and Queternary rocks built the region. The Rilo-Rhodopean region is characterized with the next features: - the widest occurrence has groundwater in fractured rocks, which is cold or thermal depending on the circulation circumstances; - all groundwater is fresh; - karst water in the marbles are in separate reservoirs and is characterized with large water resources; - the kettles are separate reservoirs of unconfined and confined water; together with the karst waters they produce the most important groundwater resources in the region.

Some problems in delineation of GWBs and their arrangement in GIS


Except typical porous aquifers, groundwater bodies in karst and fracture rocks (often of sporadic character) formed in complicated mountains conditions are wildly spread in Bulgaria. In most cases there is no drillings in karst and fractured collectors. Due to this reason and different level of groundwaters research and exploitation the application of Water Framework Directive requirements concerning the delineation of groundwater bodies is hampered. Numerous groundwater bodies could be outlined if the methods included in the Directive are strictly applied. The data for initial characterization as well as risk assessment for most of them will not be available. In this connection, another approach has been applied in order to obtain less in number and larger in dimensions groundwater bodies. It was assumed that the groundwater bodies coincide with the spatial position of geological bodies with similar hydrogeological features. In most cases, these are one or several lithostratigraphical units or igneous bodies. The outlining is done on the base of the Geological map of Bulgaria M 1:100 000. 170 groundwater bodies are outlined and the data for them is filled in database. The initial arrangement of the groundwater bodies in GIS is performed in 4 layers. This arrangement has some disadvantages, which make it inconvenient for work. The main disadvantage is that in one and the same GIS layer the areas of the bodies situated at different geological levels are covered. GIS arrangement of the bodies in 7 layers according to geological age of the water-bearing rocks is created also (Fig.2). Thus, the aquifers situated in different geological level are divided in separate GIS layers. In most of the cases the boundaries of the groundwater bodies coincide with the spatial position of the geological boundaries at the surface. The bodies that are connected to Quaternary and Pliocene-Quaternary deposits (in the river terraces, prolluvial fans and graben depressions) were outlined in this manner. The boundaries of water bodies where the groundwater temperature and chemical composition change in depth, are only approximate. Such cases occur in Moesian platform, as well as in other regions of the country. The most outstanding example is the Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous aquifer (the largest and the most important in Bulgaria). It is widespread in Northern Bulgaria and is the main source of water supplying for a lot populated places in the area. It is formed in thick karstifed carbonate complex with very limited outcrops at the surface in Northeastern Bulgaria. With sinking in depth the water in the aquifer changes its temperature and chemical composition. To delineate the groundwater body, it is necessary to outline only the part of the aquifer with water suitable for water supply. The lack of information and specific conditions necessitate all boundaries of the aquifers to be approximate. The North boundary is the frontier with Romania in this direction the water body is transboundary. The East boundary is Black Sea, despite that the waterbearing rocks continue under the shelf. In spite of the high temperatures of the water in this part (above 35-50) the coastal zone is

Layer Quaternary - Neogene

Layer Neogene - a

Layer Neogene - b

Layer Paleogene

Layer Cretaceous

Layer Jurassic - Cretaceous

Layer Triassic

Layer Paleozoic - Proterozoic

Fig. 2. GIS layers according to geological age of the water-bearing rocks

included in the borders of the water body since the TDS is under 1 g/l. The South border is also approximate and it is defined in the zone of facial passage of the carbonate rocks into the flysch rocks. The passage is gradual and it is established on the base of wells data. The West border separates the zone from the aquifer, where waters with higher temperature and TDS values were determined and is outlined on the base of the expert assessment.
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Fig. 3. Delineation of the Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous aquifer


1 well with fresh water; 2 well with water with temperature from 20 to 55C and TDS values below 1 g/l; 3 well with water with temperature above 40C and TDS values above 1 g/l; 4 boundary of GWB; 5 outcrops;

The boundaries of some water bodies with karst and fractured water-bearing rocks are covered with some other deposits. Interesting example of this case is the Northern Pirin karst massif. It is built of Proterozoic marbles, which in the eastern part are covered with glacial and prolluvial deposits (Bakalov et al. 2002). The Northern boundary of the karstic body is hidden below Quaternary deposits and is defined from karst springs (with considerable flow-rate). The springs issues are connected to the fault, which is covered by Quaternary deposits.

( (

- 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6
(
0 0 1.5 3 3

- 7

kilometers kilometers

Fig. 4. Delineation of Northern Pirin karst massif


1 - glacial and prolluvial deposits; 2 igneous bodies; 3 - Proterozoic marbles; 4 Proterozoic schists and gneisses; 5 fault; 6 boundary of GWB; 7 karst spring;

Some of the water bodies fall into the catchment areas of different rivers. Interesting example is the water body Glojene-Brestnitsa karst water massif. It is typical mountainous karst massif built of Upper Jurassic limestones. Vit River crosses the body and loses substantial part of its flow. By tracer tests it is proved that these waters go to karst spring Glava Panega with flowrate from 580 to 357 000 l/s (Kovachev, 1959). This spring originates Zlatna Panega River, tributary of Iskar River. The subterranean passing of water from catchment area of the one river into the catchment area of the other, has to be taken into consideration in the future management of the waters.

Glava Panega Spring

3.5

Iskar River Catchment area

t Vi

r ve Ri

kilometers

Vit River Catchment area

Fig. 5. GWB Glojene-Brestnitsa karst water massif

Dividing of groundwater bodies according to available wells data


The separation of the water bodies is done on the base of the available wells data for the corresponding water body. In this respect three main groups were divided (Fig. 6): - I group - Water bodies with sufficiently hydrogeological data for spatial characterizations of the water body, water level, hydrogeological parameters, etc. - II group water bodies with comparatively small number wells, irregularly scattered on its area. The data are partial and the water bodies cannot be completely characterized. - III group water bodies almost without hydrogeological drillings. It is divided into two subgroups: - IIIa group -water bodies without data from wells, but with data from springs (such are most mountainous karstic water bodies) - IIIb group water bodies, for which there is no hydrogeological data. About 40% of the territory of the country is characterized by low water-bearing rocks. They have been not object of hydrogeological studies. On Fig. 6 they are represented as white fields. Despite that these rocks are accepted as acquicludes, inside them are formed surface waters related to the weathered zone. They are drained from springs with low discharges (often below 0.1 l/s). These springs are the only source of water for the people from these areas. Because of this, in the future, water bodies have to be defined and delineated in these zones.

-1 -2 -3

-4 -5

0
kilometers

50

Fig. 6. Map of available wells data


1 - water bodies with sufficiently wells data; 2 water bodies with comparatively small number wells; 3 - water bodies without data from wells, but with data from springs; 4 water bodies without any hydrogeological data; 5 white fields;

Conclusions
For the purpose of implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive, groundwater bodies in Bulgaria have been delineated along with their initial characterization. The outlining is done on the base of the Geological map of Bulgaria M 1:100 000. 170 groundwater bodies are outlined and the available data for them is filled in database. The arrangement of the groundwater bodies in GIS is performed in 7 layers according to geological age of the water-bearing rocks. In most of the cases the boundaries of the groundwater bodies are defined on the base of the geological boundaries. The boundaries of some water bodies with karst and fractured water-bearing rocks are covered with some other deposits and are recovered. Some specific examples of delineation of GWBs are presented and discussed. The available data from drillings are non-evenly distributed. There are groundwater bodies with limited or no drillings and their initial characterization is hampered. In the fractured and karst collectors, especially in the mountain areas of the country, drilling has been not performed and the available data is only from the springs. A map of available wells data for GWBs is presented. Important problem for the future implementation of WFD is the existence of the so-called white fields, where the water bodies have to be delineated as well. The next step foreseen by WFD is evaluation of impact on GWB from human pressure and risk assessment. River Basin Directorates are just involved in this activity.

References
Antonov, H., D. Danchev, 1980: Groundwater in Bulgaria. Sofia, Technica, 360. Bakalov, P., St. Shanov, I. Ilieva, Al. Benderev, 2002: Physico - Geographic preconditions for cave genesis in the region. In: Pirin, caves and shafts. Sofia, 11-28. Kovachev, Iv. 1959: Karst and karst groundwater in the valley of Vit River. In: Karst groundwater in Bulgaria. Sofia, Technica, 183-230.

Spassov, V., Iv. Stefanov, Il. Yotov, T. Kehayov, P. Petrov, G. Velkovski, I. Slaveykov, A. Benderev, A. Andreev, M. Machkova, 2003: Exploitation resources and groundwater using in the regions with River basin management. Journal of BAS, 1, 19 24.