Do Termitaria Indicate the Presence of Groundwater? A Case Study of Hydrogeophysical Investigation on a Land Parcel with Termite Activity.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Insects, 2020, 11, (11), pp. 1-16
Issue Date:
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Termite nests have long been suggested to be good indicators of groundwater but only a few studies are available to demonstrate the relationship between the two. This study therefore aims at investigating the most favourable spots for locating groundwater structures on a small parcel of land with conspicuous termite activity. To achieve this, geophysical soundings using the renowned vertical electrical sounding (VES) technique was carried out on the gridded study area. A total of nine VESs with one at the foot of a termitarium were conducted. The VES results were interpreted and assessed via two different techniques: (1) physical evaluation as performed by drillers in the field and (2) integration of primary and secondary geoelectrical parameters in a geographic information system (GIS). The result of the physical evaluation indicated a clear case of subjectivity in the interpretation but was consistent with the choice of VES points 1 and 6 (termitarium location) as being the most prospective points to be considered for drilling. Similarly, the integration of the geoelectrical parameters led to the mapping of the most prospective groundwater portion of the study area with the termitarium chiefly in the center of the most suitable region. This shows that termitaria are valuable landscape features that can be employed as biomarkers in the search of groundwater.
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