Fonctionnement et gestion des aquifères alluviaux de haute altitude cas de la Haute-Sarine (Alpes suisses)

The Haute Sarine alpine valley is located at an average altitude of approximately 1'000 to 1'200 masl. It was formed in its southern part up to the area of Gstaad to the favour of a typical North-South tectonic fault according to the main structures of the Préalpes, then followed normal fault striking East-West to end up on the rock bolt of the Vanel hill. The late and postglacial period was marked by the deposition of glaciolacustrines, glaciofluviatile and flurecent fluviatile sediments which have filled the ice free valley bottom probably starting from a period older than the Bölling-Alleröd interstadial. The depth of this overdeepening varies between 20 and more than 50 m of depth. Drillings which we carried out could document series of typical glaciolacustrine sediments. The implementation of several geophysical survey methods (resistivity, seismic refraction and reflexion, well logs and pumping tests) enabled us to analyse several sources of information which we confronted between them in order to produce a 3D model of the quaternary deposits and their hydrological properties. Most of these sediments are relatively quite permeable and build a free groundwater reservoir that we subdivided into 3 parts. The basin of Gsteig in the south is closed, the valley having been blocked by a massive landslide that probably occurred in several successive stages starting at the first climate improvements. The second part, the basin of Feutersoey has not been retained as a potential important hydrogeologic resource based on our preliminary investigations. The last basin, that of Gstaad-Saanen is the largest and thickest. It is also in this basin that most of the tourist and industrial activities of the area are concentrated. The observation network was established in order to characterize the groundwater flows enabling us at the same time to carry out piezometric measurements and chemical as well as and bacteriological analyses. We also carried out a δ18O isotope analysis campaign. The whole of these approaches highlighted the particular characteristics of the groundwater recharge. The groundwater system is mainly fed by the Sarine and the precipitations infiltration. We also located an underground karstic feeding of evaporitic type. We finally propose a groundwater management and protection concept adapted to the particular situation of the Sarine alluvial mountain aquifer system on both quantitative and qualitative aspects. The high altitude alpine groundwater catchment areas such as the Haute Sarine represent as a whole a quality resource, with high potentials yet to be defined on a larger scale, for example by applying numerical modeling and by organizing and maintaining long term observation networks that will enable us to define a sustainable groundwater resource management within the alpine area.

Parriaux, Aurèle
Lausanne, EPFL

 Record created 2005-03-16, last modified 2018-03-17

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