A GIS-based method for predicting groundwater discharge areas in esker aquifers in the Boreal region

Riku Eskelinen*, Pertti Otto Antero Ala-Aho, Pekka M. Rossi, Bjørn Kløve

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In the Boreal region, anticline eskers aquifers are recharged in upland hillslopes and water discharges in the surrounding lowlands. Organic peat soils often confine the aquifer discharge area and drainage of these confining peat layers can decrease the flow resistance in the peat soil, which may cause unintentional groundwater level drawdown. This poses a risk to groundwater bodies and their good water status in the Boreal region. To increase awareness of the risk areas and to assess potential areas for drainage restoration, a model based on geographical information systems (GIS) was developed to predict the locations of high groundwater discharge. The output of the model is a map highlighting the potential areas where groundwater is more likely to discharge. The model output was validated with stream flow data collected from two eskers located in Finland. The developed GIS model is recommended as a tool to delineate groundwater protection areas where drainage of the peat soil should not be allowed and for assessing areas where such drainage networks could be restored to protect vulnerable groundwater systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4109-4118
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Earth Sciences
Issue number5
Early online date19 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015

Bibliographical note

This work was funded by the 7th framework project GENESIS (226536) and Maa- ja vesitekniikan tuki r.y.


  • Drainage
  • Geographical information systems
  • Groundwater management
  • Groundwater vulnerability


Dive into the research topics of 'A GIS-based method for predicting groundwater discharge areas in esker aquifers in the Boreal region'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this