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The geology and hydrogeology of the Cassino plain (central Apennines, Italy): redefining the regional groundwater balance

Saroli, Michele, Lancia, Michele, Petitta, Marco
Hydrogeology journal 2019 v.27 no.5 pp. 1563-1579
basins, climate, groundwater, hinterland, hydrogeology, karsts, models, surveys, tectonics, water management, water supply, Italy
Cassino plain is a Quaternary intermontane basin of the central-southern Apennines, Italy. The plain has outstanding groundwater resources (total discharge of 23,000 L/s), thanks to the huge karst basins that surround the area. The area has been involved in many hydrogeological interests since the 1970s due to the economic importance and construction of the Western Campania Aqueduct for the water supply of Naples city and its hinterland. Despite its importance, the area lacks a common accepted hydrogeological conceptual model due to the complex geological setting. Two contrasting conceptual models already exist in the literature, with the first model based on a quantitative hydrogeological approach and the second on fieldwork. Through a literature analysis and further detailed field surveys, a new conceptual model is presented, acknowledging the thrust tectonics of the Apennine chain. The model unveils the most important hydrogeological issues of the area, serving as a useful tool for groundwater management, as well as for considering the changing anthropic and climate scenarios. In particular, the study redefines the hydrostructure extents and the groundwater flowpaths, characterizing the main water resources as Gari and Peccia springs.