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Marina Flores

Marina Flores

Home Institution: University of Oxford

Host Institution: Institute for Oceanography and Applied Geophysics (OGS)

Duration of stay(days): 15

Objectives: The general objective of the project is to identify potential unconventional water resources, in line with the COST Action WG1 tasks, through targeted hydrogeological simulations. The study area to undertake the simulations is the Eastern Mediterranean. The core tasks tp be undertaken will be to complete and update database on hydraulic properties and other model parameters of the aquifers that will be modelled; to run transient hydrogeological simulations over at least two glacial cycles, and possibly going back in time as early as the Messinian Salinity Crisis (ca.5-6My). The expected outputs and deliverables will be the estimation of the occurrence, salinity and volume of OFG in the study area, and the quantification of changes in volumes over the latest glacial cycles.

Summary of the work:

I’m a Hydrogeologist with industry experience, currently undertaking a research post at the University of Oxford. In my recent STSM (Short Term Scientific Mission), I researched unconventional groundwater resources in Europe, in particular Lebanon and the UK, aligning with the overarching goals of the COST Action Working Group 1. My primary objective was to contribute to hydrogeological studies and models to identify potential sources of freshwater at depth (around 1 km) and in unconventional geological settings.

The initial phase involved a literature review and data collection, which led to the creation of a geological profile, forming the base for a conceptual model in Lebanon. The data was compiled from open sources, an unpublished MSc thesis by Benjamin Penny (University of Oxford) and offshore spring data contributed by a member of the COST Action, Professor Amin Shaban. The studies in the area are ongoing, along with hydrogeological studies in the southeast coast of the UK. The objective in the UK is to understand how deep the groundwater in the chalk extends.

My activities have also included outreach and dissemination of the COST Action, the OFF-SOURCE project and the importance of unconventional groundwater resources. I’ve delivered presentations in Argentina and at the University of Oxford, and will further promote the work and project in conferences in the future.

The STSM allowed me to meet and network with other researchers around Europe who are focusing their efforts to contribute to increase the knowledge of conceptualising and modelling unconventional settings, searching for groundwater resources. The work that is ongoing as part of the OFF-SOURCE project, will benefit in particular regions facing water scarcity challenges.