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TitleSeven hydrogeological terrains characteristic of southern Ontario
AuthorSharpe, D RORCID logo
SourceCanadian Journal of Earth Sciences 2022 p. 1-25, Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20210713
PublisherCanadian Science Publishing
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
NTS30; 40; 31B; 31C; 31D; 41A; 41B
AreaSouthern Ontario
Lat/Long WENS -83.0000 -73.0000 45.0000 42.0000
Subjectshydrogeology; flow structures; flow systems; terrain analysis; hydrologic properties; hydrologic environment
Illustrationslocation maps; tables; schematic cross-sections; graphs
ProgramGroundwater Geoscience Archetypal Aquifers of Canada
Released2022 11 23
AbstractGroundwater is an important component of the hydrological cycle of southern Ontario, significant to water supply and discharge to surface water. To improve overall understanding of key hydrological mechanisms, a proof-of-concept framework is presented that consists of seven typical terrains or hydrogeological settings. Geologic and topographic controls influence each setting as recorded by climate, streamflow, and groundwater level data, which trace how water moves through various parts of the southern Ontario landscape. This hydrogeological framework considers the geology of surface sediment and bedrock, permeability and porosity (inferred), physiography, and topographic gradients to define seven distinctive hydrogeological terrains. The data and watershed selection process allow for concentration on patterns of hydrologic response across the landscape, with less focus on hydrologic accounting of the terrain. The analysis identifies events in climate, stream, and well-monitoring data indicative of influxes and temporal patterns of hydrological and hydrogeological response to local geology and topography, thus differentiating styles of groundwater movement in sediment/bedrock landscapes of the Paleozoic basin and Shield margin. A case study is provided for each setting: five in sediment (clay, sand, gravel, till upland, and thick till); and two in bedrock (crystalline and carbonate). The selected hydrogeological terrains characterize ?90% of the landscape based on a simplified geological map of southern Ontario. The main hydrogeological characteristics and behaviour of these terrains are proposed as a set of conceptual models representative of near-surface groundwater regimes. Such models can inform water and land resource management as future climates change.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Groundwater is an important part of the hydrological cycle of southern Ontario. It is significant to water supply and groundwater discharge to surface water. We develop a framework of typical hydrogeological settings that uses geological and topographical controls to describe how water moves through southern Ontario landscapes. We integrate climate, stream, and well-monitoring data that record fluxes and seasonal patterns of water flow with local geology and topography. The identified styles of groundwater movement for each of seven geological settings (sediment/ bedrock case studies) characterises ~90% of the southern Ontario hydrogeological terrains. Terrain hydrologic models can inform water resource management even as future climates change.

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