Water availability and quality threats in a Guarani Aquifer System outcrop zone

Friday, December 8, 2017 -
2:30pm to 3:30pm
Event Location: 
Leighton Conference Room (room 101), Natural Resources Building

Dr. Edson Wendland (Department of Hydraulics and Sanitary Engineering, Engineering School of São Carlos at the University of São Paulo, Brazil)


The Guarani Aquifer System (GAS) is one of the most important transboundary aquifers in the world. Located in parts of four South America countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay), its area is estimated to 1.2 Million km². The GAS is formed by the eolian sandstones of the Jurassic (Botucatu formation) and fluvio-eolian Triassic (Pirambóia formation) periods. The majority of recharge to the aquifer is hypothesized to occur in the outcrop areas, where the GAS appears as an unconfined aquifer. However few hydrogeologic studies focusing this question are available. The talk will discuss three major foci: 1. A monitoring network installed in the Ribeirão da Onça watershed aiming to understand and quantify the recharge mechanisms at these outcrop areas. Particularly, the talk will focus on the use of heat as natural tracer for the evaluation of stream-aquifer exchange.  2. An experimental site under undisturbed dense Cerrado in order to understand pre-deforestation conditions. Canopy interception, throughfall, stemflow, surface runoff, erosion, and water table level are obtained, allowing the evaluation of the impact of soil use changes in comparison to native vegetation. 3. A monitoring network in an abandoned landfill aiming to the evaluation of contamination and transport processes in the Guarani Aquifer. Understanding the hydrological and contamination processes in detail scale is a key step in order to extrapolate local results to the whole aquifer system, providing reliable information for groundwater management and protection purposes.


About the speaker

Dr. Wendland is a Full Professor at the Department of Hydraulics and Sanitary Engineering (Engineering School of São Carlos at the University of São Paulo, Brazil), working since 2001. He holds an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) and a Dr.-Ing. (PhD) in Civil Engineering from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Germany). From 1996 to 1999 he was Assistant Professor at the Department of Applied Geology (Ruhr-Universität Bochum). From 1999 to 2001 he developed research in the field of Petroleum Engineering at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP, Brazil). His research and publications in national and international journals focus mainly: 1) the development of advanced numerical schemes based on the finite element and analytic element method; 2) computational simulation of groundwater flow and solute transport in fractured porous media; 3) river-aquifer interaction; 4) integrated water resources management based on continuous monitoring of hydrological data at watershed scale. Prior to his academic activities, he worked with Zerna, Schulz & Partner (Bochum, Germany) in Civil Engineering projects (buildings, tunnels, railways) and DMT – Deutsche Montan Technologie (Essen, Germany) in environmental projects (groundwater modeling, Geographical Information System). Dr. Wendland coordinated many research projects supported by official agencies (FAPESP, CNPq, CAPES, Finep, WUS and GEF). Currently he is involved with the development of numerical models for groundwater management in over exploited aquifers. In this sense, the Guarani Aquifer System, Bauru Aquifer and Sao Paulo Aquifer are being analyzed from the hydrogeological point of view to the conceptual model development.