IWA Publishing

Use of geological mapping tools to improve the hydraulic performance of SuDS


Most cities in Denmark are situated on low permeable clay rich deposits. These sediments are of glacial origin and range among the most heterogeneous, with hydraulic conductivities spanning several orders of magnitude. This heterogeneity has obvious consequences for the sizing of sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS). We have tested methods to reveal geological heterogeneity at field scale to identify the most suitable sites for the placement of infiltration elements and to minimize their required size. We assessed the geological heterogeneity of a clay till plain in Eastern Jutland, Denmark measuring the shallow subsurface resistivity with a geoelectrical multi-electrode system. To confirm the resistivity data we conducted a spear auger mapping. The exposed sediments ranged from clay tills over sandy clay tills to sandy tills and correspond well to the geoelectrical data. To verify the value of geological information for placement of infiltration elements we carried out a number of infiltration tests on geologically different areas across the field, and we observed infiltration rates two times higher in the sandy till area than in the clay till area, thus demonstrating that the hydraulic performance of SuDS can be increased considerably and oversizing avoided if field geological heterogeneity is revealed before placing SuDS.

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