Geohydrological update and numerical modelling of the Langebaan and Elandsfontein Aquifer Systems

The Saldanha / Langebaan area is expanding at a significant rate, increasing the water demand for the area. The expansion comes from the industrial, residential and tourism sector. In addition there are economically viable deposits of silica and phosphate in the area. Ecosystem functioning in the area is also to a degree dependent on groundwater. All of these factors require an improved understanding of the geohydrology of the area. The geology of the area consists of basement Cape Granite and Malmesbury Group rocks that underlie the sediments of the Sandveld Group. The unconsolidated formations present, are (in order of oldest to youngest) as follows: - Elandsfontyn Formation (oldest): This formation overlies the bedrock in depressions and palaeo-channels in the bedrock. This formation is about 40 m thick and is composed of upward fining quartz sediments. - Varswater Formation: This formation is composed of marine deposits and is restricted to the western (seaward) parts of a bedrock depression to the east of the Langebaan Lagoon and Saldanha. The formation is characterized by rounded quartz grains. - Langebaan Formation: This formation consists of calc-arenites. The sediments are generally grey to cream coloured and consist of quartz and shell fragments, the grain size ranges from coarse to fine and the consolidation is variable. - Witzand Formation (youngest). This formation consists of light-coloured, calcareous, coastal dune sand that can be distinguished from the underlying consolidated Langebaan Formation. The Elandsfontyn Aquifer System (EAS) and the Langebaan Road Aquifer System (LRAS) are the main aquifer systems in the area. These aquifer systems are defined by palaeo-channels that have been filled with gravels of the Elandsfontyn Formation and represent preferred groundwater flow paths. Within each of these aquifer systems (EAS and LRAS) two aquifer units are present. Namely, the confined Lower Aquifer Unit (LAU) geologically consisting of the basal gravels of the Elandsfontyn Formation and the Upper Aquifer Unit (UAU) composed of consolidated sands and calcrete. The two units are separated by a clay aquitard. A numerical model has been established for the area, and extends from the Berg River to the Langebaan Lagoon. Granite outcrop and river system define the other boundaries of the model. Extensive logging of groundwater levels by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has enabled the accurate establishment of a model. In addition extensive field work and a detailed hydrocensus, as well as the capture of a lot of historical information has resulted in a comprehensive GIS which assists with the refinement of the numerical model. The model provides a valuable tool in modelling potential impacts whether they been from planned groundwater abstraction or artificial recharge. {List only- not presented}

Presenter Name
Julian E
Presenter Surname
Western Cape
Conference year