Aquifer recharge can be determined by conventional methods such as hydrodynamic or hydrologic balance calculations, or numerical, hydrochemical or isotopic models. Such methods are usually developed with respect to detrital aquifers and are then used on carbonate aquifers without taking into consideration their hydrogeological particularities. Moreover, such methods are not always easy to apply, sometimes requiring data that are not available. Neither do they enable determination of the spatial distribution of the recharge. For eight regions in southern Spain, the APLIS method has been used to estimate the mean annual recharge in carbonate aquifers, expressed as a percentage of precipitation, based on the variables altitude, slope, lithology, infiltration landform, and soil type. The aquifers are representative of a broad range of climatic and geologic conditions. Maps of the above variables have been drawn for each aquifer, using a geographic information system; thus they can be superimposed to obtain the mean value and spatial distribution of the recharge. The recharge values for the eight aquifers are similar to those previously calculated by conventional methods and confirmed by discharge values, which corroborates the validity of the method.
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