A conceptual snapshot of a big coastal dune aquifer: Magilligan, Northern Ireland

Robins, N.S.; Wilson, P.. 2017 A conceptual snapshot of a big coastal dune aquifer: Magilligan, Northern Ireland. Journal of Coastal Conservation, 21 (5). 615-621.

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The Magilligan sand spit dune field is situated on the eastern mouth of Lough Foyle in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It is a large triangular-shaped site some 7 km by 4 km by 1.5 km wide (about 800 hectares) and maintains areas, particularly in the eastern part, with slacks that regularly flood in winter. The size of the system acts as a buffer to external drivers due to the large volume of groundwater stored, the longer travel distances and lower hydraulic gradients. However, unlike many other coastal dune sites with humid dune slacks in the British Isles the sand is not wholly underlain by silt and clay, as raised beach sand and gravel deposits are in contact with the sand aquifer in some places. A preliminary water balance suggests that the majority of the discharge from the sand aquifer occurs via the underlying raised beach deposits and only a small amount discharges directly from the sand aquifer beneath the foredunes. Available water level monitoring is skewed towards the wetter end of the dune system; no significant short-term water level trends are apparent. The data also indicate that recharge regularly takes place within the sand aquifer interspersed by periods of groundwater level recession.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 1400 0350
Additional Keywords: GroundwaterBGS, Groundwater, Aquifer characterisation, Groundwater resources
Date made live: 14 Mar 2017 11:34 +0 (UTC)

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