Chapter

Influence of Climate Change on Shallow Groundwater Resources: The Link Between Precipitation and Groundwater Levels in Alluvial Systems

Orhan Gunduz and Celalettin Simsek

Abstract Alluvial groundwater systems are extremely vulnerable to changes in precipitation amounts as they are typically recharged from above. Thus, any change in precipitation patterns due to climate change is likely to influence such systems first. Dynamic behavior of these systems is clearly seen from large fluctuations in the declining and rising curves of groundwater level time series graphs. An example of such a system is analyzed within the scope of this study that is located in Western Anatolia near Izmir, Turkey. Data collected from 21 monitoring wells were used to assess the long term general trend in the groundwater levels of Torbali-Bayindir plain, an alluvial system near Izmir city. The results demonstrated an average declining pattern of 0.75 m/year in groundwater levels where strong seasonal fluctuations in some wells could reach as high as 30 m. Considering this dynamic behavior, such systems, which are highly dependent on timing, persistence and total amounts of precipitation, are extremely vulnerable to changes in precipitation patterns, particularly in areas where climate change effects are towards increased temperature values and reduced precipitation totals.

Keywords Alluvial surface aquifer • Precipitation • Groundwater level • Climate change

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