Hydrogeological characterization of the Salinas-Los Hoyos evaporitic karst (Malaga province, S Spain) using topographic, hydrodynamic, hydrochemical and isotopic methods

Jose Manuel Gil-Márquez, Matías Mudarra, Bartolomé Andreo, Luis Linares, Francisco Carrasco, José Benavente

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3986/ac.v45i2.4504


The Salinas-Los Hoyos karst system is a geological diapiric structure formed by materials of diverse nature (clays, sandstones, evaporites, volcanic rocks, dolostones, etc.) placed between Malaga and Granada provinces (S Spain). The abundance of evaporite rocks (gypsum, anhydrite and halite) and their high solubility contribute to the development of exokarstic features (dolines, uvalas, sinkholes). Grande and Chica lakes are dolines located in the western border of the diapir that are intersected by the piezometric level. Close to the first wetland is the Aguileras spring, which is the main discharge point of the west sector of the system. To assess the wetland-spring relation and the general functioning of the system, the geomorphologic framework has been analyzed and hydrogeological controls have been performed, consisting in limnimetric and discharge logging and in situ measurements of physico-chemical parameters (EC and water temperature). Furthermore, spring, wetland and rain water samples have been taken for subsequent chemical and isotopic analysis. Preliminary results show that wetland water level and spring discharge follow a similar trend, consistently with the inertia of the system. However, their hydrochemical evolution and isotopic values differ, thus wetland groundwater interaction has not been fully determined. Nevertheless, present research suggests that the hydrogeological connection would be more likely during wet periods, when the water table is at higher altitude.

Key words: Evaporitic (karst) aquifer, Hydrological and hydrogeological behaviours, Natural responses, South Spain, Wetlands.


Evaporitic (karst) aquifer; Hydrological and hydrogeological behaviours; Natural responses; South Spain; Wetlands

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3986/ac.v45i2.4504


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