Groundwater/Wetland Interactions In A Coastal Aquifer In The Eastern Cape Province Of South Africa.

This study, near Thyspunt between St. Francis and Oyster Bay in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, focused on identification and quantification of surface water–groundwater links between the mobile Oyster Bay dune field and the coast. The specific objective was to establish the extent to which important wetlands such as the Langefonteinvlei and the numerous coastal seeps along the coast are directly or indirectly dependent on groundwater as their main water source. A further objective was to establish the extent to which any of the coastal seeps derive their water from the Langefonteinvlei, and are thus interdependent on the integrity of this system. The study also investigated the contribution of the Algoa and Table Mountain Group aquifers to these wetlands. The   monitoring   network   established   as   part   of   this   study   focused   on   unpacking   the interrelationships between surface and groundwater flows, aquifer hydrochemistry and wetland function, as related to the Langefonteinvlei and the coastal seeps in particular. Results indicate that the Langefonteinvlei is fed by groundwater flowing from the mobile Oyster Bay dune field in the north and the water divide in the northeast, which emerges at the foot of the high dune in the north and northeast of the wetland. However, the majority of the vlei area is ‘perched’ above the local water table on a layer of organic-rich sediment. The coastal springs located southwest and west of the Langefonteinvlei are not fed by water from the Langefonteinvlei. They emerge near the coast, where the bedrock lies close to the surface, and are fed by groundwater draining directly from the Algoa and Table Mountain Group aquifers to the Indian Ocean.

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Eastern Cape
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