Coupling hydrotoponymy and GIS cartography: A case study of hydrohistorical issues in urban groundwater systems, Porto, NW Portugal(Article)

Geographical Research

Journal Article

The aim of this multidisciplinary study is to retrospectively examine hydrohistorical issues, namely hydrogeographic, hydrotoponymical and hydrogeological features, in order to assess the evolution of the Porto urban groundwater system (NW Portugal). To achieve these goals, the comparison of two main field inventories in a large urban region was performed by (i) historical mapping of sources and groundwater data from scientific reports spanning the late 17th century to the early 20th; and (ii) hydrogeologic and hydrotoponymical field inventory performed under current conditions. These field inventories permitted the location of springs, dug wells, fountains, public washing places and underground water galleries, which collected groundwater to supply the population of Porto until the early 20th century. This study also allowed the development of a hydrotoponymical classification for urban areas and a field hydrotoponymical inventory data sheet. This research integrated several techniques based on historical hydrogeography, hydrogeology and urban geosciences. The results of the field inventories were combined into both a database and a Geographical Information System (GIS) platform. This unified methodology allowed a cross-check and analysis of several levels of information, namely hydrotoponymy, hydroclimatology, hydrogeology, structural geology and geomorphology. This perspective led to an assessment of the evolution of the quality of water resources in large urban areas over time. In addition, the role of hydrotoponymical features is presented in order to support the hydrogeological conceptual model for large urbanised areas. © 2013 Institute of Australian Geographers.

L. Freitas

M.J. Afonso

N. Devy-Vareta

A. Gomes

H.I. Chaminé


Year of publication: 2014


ISSN: 17455863


DOI: 10.1111/1745-5871.12051

Alternative Titles