Influence of successive phases of volcanic construction and erosion on Mayotte Island’s hydrogeological functioning as determined from a helicopter-borne resistivity survey correlated with borehole geological and permeability data Article - Avril 2014

Benoit Vittecoq, Jacques Deparis, Sophie Violette, Timothée Jaouen, Frédéric Lacquement

Benoit Vittecoq, Jacques Deparis, Sophie Violette, Timothée Jaouen, Frédéric Lacquement, « Influence of successive phases of volcanic construction and erosion on Mayotte Island’s hydrogeological functioning as determined from a helicopter-borne resistivity survey correlated with borehole geological and permeability data  », Journal of Hydrology, avril 2014, pp. 519-538. ISSN 0022-1694

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to show how a multidisciplinary approach that combines geophysics, geology and hydrogeology has made it possible to : (a) significantly improve our understanding of the hydrogeological regime of the volcanic island of Mayotte, and (b) provide a new set of geophysical measurement calibration data. In 2010 a helicopter-borne geophysical survey (SkyTEM) was flown over the entire island (374 km2) with a measurement density hitherto unheard of in a volcanic environment. In addition, a database was compiled containing the geological logs of 55 boreholes. 52 of these boreholes have hydrogeological information like aquifer position and piezometric level. 21 of the boreholes have transmissivity values. Correlations were made between the inverted resistivities as obtained from the helicopter-borne TDEM profiles and the nature, age and hydrodynamic properties of the formations as obtained from the borehole data. Five hydrogeological units were mapped. These are characterized by an alternation between phases of dominant volcanic construction, with the emplacement of basaltic lavas, phonolite massifs and pyroclastic deposits, and phases of dominant erosion with the deposition of volcaniclastic material (colluvium, breccias, basaltic lavas and phonolite blocks and all materials resulting from slope slides) along the slopes and in the topographic depressions. It has also been possible to assign resistivity and permeability ranges to four of these units. Ranges that are also dependent on the age of the deposits : the younger the formation is, the greater its resistivity and the higher its permeability. The hydrogeological regime is marked by the phases of volcanic construction and erosion that succeeded one another during the geological history of Mayotte over the last 10 Ma. A conceptual model adapted to the specific geological context of this island, and differing from the Canarian and Hawaiian models, is also put forward. This model is marked by the island’s ’’fragmented’’ character resulting from its geological history (several volcanic edifices, several phases of construction and erosion), and is applicable to an old volcanic island in an advanced stage of erosion and weathering, with a volcanic history similar to that of Mayotte, i.e. with climate variations and erosion periods long enough to register volcaniclastic deposits.

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