POSTER The study focuses on the primary aquifer in the Cedarville flats. Groundwater extracted from the aquifer is the primary source for domestic and agricultural purposes for farmers and the community in the Cedarville area. The aim of the study is to develop a conceptual hydrogeological model of the primary aquifer in Cedarville flats which may be used as an input to a groundwater flow model that will predict the behaviour of the aquifer. The main objectives of the research are:
Characterise the aquifer based on borehole log information, depth to water, hydraulic properties of the aquifer and recharge.
Examine the hydrochemistry and environmental isotope composition of groundwater.
Develop a conceptual hydrogeological model for the Cedarville primary aquifer.
The study area boundary covers a large area including towns like New Amalfi and it goes to Lehlohonolo, but the main focus is in the primary aquifer in the Cedarville flats. The topography varies from predominantly hilly around the escarpment with numerous rivers draining deep valleys to a less mountainous undulating central area like Cedarville flats. Cedarville flats found in the midst of extremely broken ground forming the only considerable extent of plane country in the Eastern Cape territories. They cover about roughly 90 square miles and are hemmed in by ranges of mountains on the south and east and by small hills on the west and north. The aquifer is recharged by Mzimvubu River, which is the largest river in the Mzimvubu river basin; it extends from the Lesotho highlands to the Indian Ocean. It has four main tributaries: the Tsitsa, Tina, Kinira and Mzintlava, all having their headwater in the Drakensberg Mountains. The study area only shows the Tswerika, Riet, Mvenyane, Droewing and non-perennial streams. These streams all flow into the Mzimvubu River and their headwater is from the smaller mountains around the area.
The local geology of the area is formed by the Beaufort Group rocks and alluvium rocks which are quaternary in age. The geology that is specifically found in the Cedarville flats aquifer is made of alluvial deposits consisting of clay, sand and gravel. Surrounding the aquifer are Tarkastad subgroup rocks which are predominantly argillaceous rocks, including shale, carbonaceous shale, clay stone, mudstone and siltstone. The primary aquifer in the Cedarville flats is capable of sustaining long-term, large-scale production, and these kinds of aquifers are rarely found in the southern Karoo Basin.
Existing boreholes will be used to examine the bore log information, like lithology and thickness of the rocks that form the aquifer. Groundwater hydrographs will be drawn to determine the groundwater level variation. Pumping tests will be conducted to help with hydraulic conductivity, storativity and transmissivity of the aquifer. Water samples will be collected to test the water chemistry and environmental isotopes of the groundwater. Secondary data will be requested from National Groundwater Archives (NGA), Weather SA and the Department of Water Affairs. When all the data is collected, then a conceptual hydrogeological model will be produced.