Assessment of groundwater vulnerability in the Rio Artiguas basin, Nicaragua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The Rio Artiguas basin in central Nicaragua shows a distinctive case of environmental deterioration due to anthropogenic activities. Heavy metals used in gold mining and other wastes are continuously released into the rivers, representing a threat to the water quality. This article aims to evaluate the groundwater intrinsic vulnerability in the Rio Artiguas basin and to provide information for sustainable use of water resources. The DRASTIC and GOD methods were used to analyse the relative pollution potential within the basin. DRASTIC was modified to include the degree of influence that geological structures have on the vulnerability. Moderate vulnerability areas cover most of the basin along stream valleys and lowlands, increasing downstream in the basin. The resulting vulnerability maps show that the limited groundwater resources are susceptible to surface water pollution as high vulnerability areas converge along the river valleys.


External organisations
  • National Autonomous University of Nicaragua
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Geotechnical Engineering


  • Nicaragua, GOD, vulnerability, DRAS-TIC, Rio Artiguas
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-580
JournalEnvironmental Geology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch