Current challenges of underground water resources research in volcanic areas of the Armenian highlands (case study: mount Aragats)
From the hydro-geological perspective the territory of the Central Volcanic Highlands of Armenia is a highly elevated area which mainly belongs to the hydrodynamic zone of intense underground flow.
Our systematic and planned research aimed at studying groundwater in the Central Volcanic Highlands of Armenia covers the following regions: Mount Aragats, Gegham, Vardenis and Syunik Volcanic Highlands, the Ararat, Shirak and Sevan valleys, the Lori Volcanic Plateau etc.
In the Armenian Highlands, along the periphery of Mount Aragats, the purpose of the conducted studies was to determine the possibilities of applying the vertical electrical sounding (VES) method for mapping the basement relief of water-resistant rocks and identifying the aquifers.
In general, the lava of Armenian volcanic highlands is characterized by the formation and accumulation of two main types of underground runoff: concentrated and distributed. Concentrated runoff is a concentrated underground stream formed in the buried valleys and moves in a certain direction along a paleo-relief. Distributed runoff is a relatively dispersed underground stream formed in the buried watershed between paleo-valleys and moving in their direction. It feeds the concentrated runoff.
Based on the hydro-geophysical studies, the main conclusions on distribution and exploitation of groundwater across certain volcanic regions of the Central Volcanic Highlands of Armenia are presented. Mount Aragats, where electrical exploration surveys took place using the VES method, is presented as a case study. Hydro-geophysical studies made it possible to analyze certain drainage basins of the rock massif in order to allow a more detailed “dissection” of the groundwater runoff.
As a result, a summary map of the paleo-relief was compiled. The map shows the distribution of the underground runoff of the volcanic massif of Mount Aragats which forms an important basis for conducting hydrogeological initiatives aimed at solving the problem of fresh water shortage at the national level.
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