Determination of flow characteristics in the aquifer of the Northwestern Peninsula of Yucatan, Mexico


Material Information

Determination of flow characteristics in the aquifer of the Northwestern Peninsula of Yucatan, Mexico
Series Title:
Journal of Hydrology
Steinich, Birgit
Marin, Luis E.
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Flow Characteristics ( local )
Aquifer ( local )
Northwestern Peninsula Of Yucatan, Mexico ( local )
Sinkholes ( local )
Ring Of Cenotes ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )


Flow characteristics were studied in the Northwestern Peninsula of Yucatan, Mexico. The Yucatan aquifer is a mature karst system, influenced by the Ring of Cenotes (sinkholes). This zone of aligned sinkholes is a high-permeability zone with respect to its surroundings. The aquifer is unconfined within the study area. Water-level measurements at 48 locations were made in June and October 1994; they were measured up to four times in October. Water levels in a limited group of wells showed variations up to 60% during October 1994 whereas others had variations of the order of 5% in the same period. By studying the resulting equipotential regimes, a highly variable zone (HVZ) was identified. Drain characteristics are significantly different from the rest of the study area, which leads to the hypothesis that the HVZ represents an independent subsystem of interconnected fractures. To determine directions of high permeability within the study area, azimuthal resistivity surveys were conducted at 22 locations. Resistivity curves particularly in the HVZ show two or more peaks, each indicating a direction of high permeability. Directions of high permeability are interpreted to be preferential directions of aligned fractures. Comparison with the two different equipotential regimes in October 1994 shows that in the majority of the cases the direction of the hydraulic gradient coincides with the direction of one fracture system. The hydraulic gradient can be considered to be the major control in the dissolution process at least in the HVZ, resulting in the selective opening of the fractures. Peaks in the resistivity curves are of the same order of magnitude. This shows that both regimes of equipotential lines and the corresponding changes of the hydraulic gradients are sufficiently frequent to be able to create different fracture systems with a comparable fracture density. The variations of the equipotential regime in time may have severe consequences in terms of the risk of aquifer contamination in the highly variable zone. C
Original Version:
Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 191, no. 1-4 (1997-04).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
This object is protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder.

USFLDC Membership

University of South Florida
Karst Information Portal

Postcard Information



Download Options


No images or PDF downloads are available for this resource.

Cite this item close


Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.


Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.


Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.


Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.