Conversing with Iñaki Antiquity

1987/06/01 Oilarra, A. Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

XII Basque Summer University in Pamplona continues the interviews we conducted throughout the event. In this issue we present the opinions of the geologist Iñaki Antiquity.
Elhuyar.- As part of the event held today in the EU, you have submitted your doctoral thesis. Could you summarize your doctoral thesis?

Iñaki Antiquity.- The name of the thesis has been somewhat long: "Hydrogeological study of the Nerbioi/Ibaizabal basin: contribution to the study of karst aquifer systems". What appears in a certain way in the name or the distribution that exists in it clearly reflects that division that can then be found at the bottom of the thesis. In fact, I have conducted the study on two levels; on the one hand I have carried out the hydrogeological study of Ibaizabal. For this, well, I have taken a concrete territory (Bizkaia and Arbako Lurraldea). The basin formed by the Nerbioi and Ibaizabal rivers has led me to the confluence of both rivers.

I think Arroa is almost 1000 km 2, specifically 950 km 2. The work has started from scratch, as to date there was no hydrogeological study. I have researched through the entire basin, seeing and collecting data. In this way a hydrochemical characterization of the waters present in all the geological formations present in this lithology has been obtained, and since not all the formations have hydrogeological interest, they are the most permeable or permeable formations. Therefore, we have delimited these permeable areas. The most permeable materials and three large units have been separated. Two out of three units contain carbonated materials (limestone formations, Itxina and Aramotz-Anboto).

The third unit is of great interest from the point of view of groundwater or hydrogeology. This unit is the Oiz massif. The materials of the Sierra de Oiz are not limestone, they are sandstone but they are very interesting. The other materials in the basin can be of particular importance when it comes to providing a concrete response to a specific aquatic problem. Yes, but when we talk about hydrogeology we mean a large flow and a large quantity or volume of water, little abundant materials.

Therefore, it starts from zero and a general hydrochemical characterization is performed and the areas of greatest hydrogeological interest are delimited and a hydrometric network is available in these areas. Several meters have been installed for flow control or flow control. In some springs, and in streams, resources have also been determined (quantify), the amount of water entering, the amount coming out, where, etc. Therefore, it has been an ordinary hydrogeological study in this regard. Then in the thesis there is another second level of research. Here more than a hydrogeological study is mathematical or performed.

The point is that the information provided by these installed meters has ultimately been a continuous flow control. We have been three and a half years constantly monitoring the data. They still follow, but we have taken three and a half years for the thesis. From there a lot of data is extracted. On the other hand, I have carried out about five hundred chemical analyses and in each I have increased the 20, 25, 30 elements of determination. All this, however, involves a large number of data and in order to extract that information that these data store in themselves, a new research has been carried out. What methodology, what mathematical paths can be used to take advantage of this information? And that has been the second level of research. Here two types of mathematical analysis have been applied fundamentally, very important.

E.- Returning to another level and leaving aside the thesis, geologists in Euskal Herria are not very well known. A little bit of biologists, chemists and physicists are rarely heard. However, geologists barely hear in Euskal Herria. What is the current situation of the work of Geology in Euskal Herria?

I.A.- Geology, in fact, has been one of the smallest or smallest brothers in university education. There have been very few geologists and few who have gone abroad. The practical goal of geology has rarely been seen. But if it is the Faculty of Sciences, and comparing the five chapters of always, how many people go out to graduate each year and how many begin to work in their specialty (excluding teaching)? Geologists have been the ones who have most left there in the last three years and have worked in their specialty.

And the question is that today (and not only in the Basque Country, but worldwide), Geology has made great progress and, ultimately, the problem of resources is posed: fuels... oil, gas or other minerals of all kinds. Nowadays water is also considered mineral, even if it is not solid. Nowadays, a lot of money is being invested to know in the best way possible these resources offered by nature, and for this you need geologists, right?

In Euskal Herria there are private geological companies, and I would say that at the state level… well also in mining and I believe that the Administration has made a big bet, especially since the creation of the Basque Institute of Energy. Geologists have entered there. Therefore, it is true that we are not known. The stones are very abstract, but the riches conserved by the stones are very important.

In short, all economic systems and in all nations (especially in developed nations) these developments are always based on resources stolen from the earth. Therefore, the basis for any economic planning is always the natural resource. And in that the geologist, in his specialties, has much to say.