EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Impact of groundwater abstraction on subsurface thermal regimes

Maria Klepikova1, Victor Bense2, Olivier Bour1, Nicolas Guiheneuf1, and Tanguy le Borgne1
Maria Klepikova et al.
  • 1Univ Rennes, CNRS, Géosciences Rennes - UMR 6118, F-35000 Rennes, France
  • 2Wageningen University and Research, Department of Environmental Sciences, Wageningen, Netherlands (

Being the world’s largest freshwater resource, groundwater is at a continuous risk of overabstraction for human water use. Beside substantial drops in groundwater levels that are the consequence of unsustainable groundwater abstraction, which modify the recharge/discharge relationships between large-scale hydrogeological units, this anthropogenic hydraulic forcing is also responsible for changes in thermal regimes within the critical zone. While the impact of global groundwater pumping on the hydrogeological cycle has long been demonstrated, we still have insufficient knowledge on the influence of human activities on groundwater temperatures and, as a consequence, on stream thermal regimes and groundwater quality.

In this contribution we discuss temperature anomalies that develop in the shallow subsurface as a result of localized groundwater extraction. We study different hydrogeological settings, i.e., porous and fractured aquifers, that we explore via numerical modelling and comparison with field observations. In the field, we use repeated temperature-depth borehole profiles separated by decades, the advantage of which is that differencing the temperature logs for individual boreholes yields real temperature change and eliminates steady-state sources of curvature. Thus, it enables us to detect changes in subsurface thermal regimes, resulting from transient conditions, i.e., climate change and changes in groundwater hydrodynamics.

How to cite: Klepikova, M., Bense, V., Bour, O., Guiheneuf, N., and le Borgne, T.: Impact of groundwater abstraction on subsurface thermal regimes, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-16362,, 2023.