Review: Hydrogeology of Northern Mendoza (Argentina), from the Andes to the eastern plains, in the context of climate change

Maria Laura Gomez, G. Hoke, S. D’Ambrosio, S. Moreiras, A. Castro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In the drylands of Northern Mendoza, Argentina, water supply depends on rivers and groundwater. Climate change makes this region vulnerable due to the snow-glacial-melt regime of the main rivers and populations being concentrated in “irrigated oasis” areas. This article synthesizes hydrogeological knowledge of Northern Mendoza, from the Andes to the eastern plains. The study collected hydrogeological information (published and unpublished) from 1974 to 2020 and analyzed the groundwater situation in the context of climate change. Northern Mendoza comprises fractured and clastic aquifers. Hydrogeological studies (mainly technical reports from the 1980s and 1990s) focused on clastic aquifers to support agricultural activities. These studies included general hydrochemical characterization and localized contamination surveys. Also, they included estimations of groundwater reserves and hydraulic parameters. The hydrogeology of mountain and foothill areas is mostly unknown. Further work is needed: quantification of groundwater resources, surveys of contamination and overexploitation of the confined and unconfined aquifers, better understanding of the surface-water/groundwater interaction, and an efficient monitoring network. The lack of updated information and a sustainable groundwater management strategy in irrigated areas has created legal conflicts among groundwater users, pollution problems, and high pressure on this finite resource. Besides, the poor current groundwater knowledge limits the regional economic development and the enforcement of protection measures against water contamination and overexploitation. Although the impacts of climate change on groundwater resources are globally uncertain, the adaptation to this change requires an improvement in the understanding of groundwater, professionalization of its management, and incorporation of technological advances in hydrogeology issues and water uses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-750
Number of pages26
JournalHydrogeology Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2022


  • Argentina
  • Clastic aquifers
  • Drylands
  • Fractured rocks
  • Groundwater/surface-water interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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