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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 11 Jul, 2012
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

Did you know?

That water quality is the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of water [16].?

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Karst environment, Culver D.C.
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Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
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Your search for sensitivity (Keyword) returned 70 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 70
The role of tributary mixing in chemical variations at a karst spring, Milandre, Switzerland, , Perrin J. , Jeannin P. Y. , Cornaton F. ,
SummarySolute concentration variations during flood events were investigated in a karst aquifer of the Swiss Jura. Observations were made at the spring, and at the three main subterraneous tributaries feeding the spring. A simple transient flow and transport numerical model was able to reproduce chemographs and hydrographs observed at the spring, as a result of a mixing of the concentration and discharge of the respective tributaries. Sensitivity analysis carried out with the model showed that it is possible to produce chemical variations at the spring even if all tributaries have constant (but different for each of them) solute concentrations. This process is called tributary mixing. The good match between observed and modelled curves indicate that, in the phreatic zone, tributary mixing is probably an important process that shapes spring chemographs. Chemical reactions and other mixing components (e.g. from low permeability volumes) have a limited influence.Dissolution-related (calcium, bicarbonate, specific conductance) and pollution-related parameters (nitrate, chloride, potassium) displayed slightly different behaviours: during moderate flood events, the former showed limited variations compared to the latter. During large flood events, both presented chemographs with significant changes. No significant event water participates in moderate flood events and tributary mixing will be the major process shaping chemographs. Variations are greater for parameters with higher spatial variability (e.g. pollution-related). Whereas for large flood events, the contribution of event water becomes significant and influences the chemographs of all the parameters. As a result, spring water vulnerability to an accidental pollution is low during moderate flood events and under base flow conditions. It strongly increases during large flood events, because event water contributes to the spring discharge

Assessing the importance of conduit geometry and physical parameters in karst systems using the storm water management model (SWMM), , Peterson Eric W. , Wicks Carol M. ,
SummaryQuestions about the importance of conduit geometry and about the values of hydraulic parameters in controlling ground-water flow and solute transport through karstic aquifers have remained largely speculative. One goal of this project was to assess the role that the conduit geometry and the hydraulic parameters have on controlling transport dynamics within karstic aquifers. The storm water management model (SWMM) was applied to the Devil's Icebox-Connor's Cave System in central Missouri, USA. Simulations with incremental changes to conduit geometry or hydraulic parameters were performed with the output compared to a calibrated baseline model. Ten percent changes in the length or width of a conduit produced statistically significant different fluid flow responses. The model exhibited minimal sensitivity to slope and infiltration rates; however, slight changes in Manning's roughness coefficient can highly alter the simulated output.Traditionally, the difference in flow dynamics between karstified aquifers and porous media aquifers has led to the idea that modeling of karst aquifers is more difficult and less precise than modeling of porous media aquifers. When evaluated against models for porous media aquifers, SWMM produced results that were as accurate (10% error compared to basecase). In addition, SWMM has the advantage of providing data about local flow. While SWMM may be an appropriate modeling technique for some karstic aquifers, SWMM should not be viewed as a universal solution to modeling karst systems

Determination of the Causes of Air Flow in Coppermine Cave, Yarrangobilly, 1984, Michie, N. A.

Observations of air flow through Coppermine Cave, Yarrangobilly, are reported. A model is presented of the cave as a two entrance system with air flow dominated by air density differentials with little sensitivity to surface wind. The measurement technique and data analysis are described.


DIVERSITY - A NEW METHOD FOR EVALUATING SENSITIVITY OF GROUNDWATER TO CONTAMINATION, 1993, Ray J. A. , Odell P. W. ,
This study outlines an improved method, DIVERSITY, for delineating and rating groundwater sensitivity. It is an acronym for Dlspersion/VElocity-Rated SensitivITY, which is based on an assessment of three aquifer characteristics: recharge potential, flow velocity, and flow directions. The primary objective of this method is to produce sensitivity maps at the county or state scale that illustrate intrinsic potential for contamination of the uppermost aquifer. Such maps can be used for recognition of aquifer sensitivity and for protection of groundwater quality. We suggest that overriding factors that strongly affect one or more of the three basic aquifer characteristics may systematically elevate or lower the sensitivity rating. The basic method employs a three-step procedure: (1) Hydrogeologic settings are delineated on the basis of geology and groundwater recharge/discharge position within a terrane. (2) A sensitivity envelope or model for each setting is outlined on a three-component rating graph. (3) Sensitivity ratings derived from the envelope are extrapolated to hydrogeologic setting polygons utilizing overriding and key factors, when appropriate. The three-component sensitivity rating graph employs two logarithmic scales and a relative area scale on which measured and estimated values may be plotted. The flow velocity scale ranging from 0.01 to more than 10,000 m/d is the keystone of the rating graph. Whenever possible, actual time-of-travel values are plotted on the velocity scale to bracket the position of a sensitivity envelope. The DIVERSITY method was developed and tested for statewide use in Kentucky, but we believe it is also practical and applicable for use in almost any other area

Structure et comportement hydraulique des aquifers karstiques, DSc thesis, 1996, Jeannin, P. Y.

This thesis aims to provide a better knowledge of karst flow systems, from a functional point of view (behaviour with time), as well as from a structural one (behaviour in space). The first part of the thesis deals with the hydrodynamic behaviour of karst systems, and the second part with the geometry of karstic networks, which is a strong conditioning factor for the hydrodynamic behaviour.
Many models have been developed in the past for describing the hydrodynamic behaviour of karst hydrogeological systems. They usually aim to provide a tool to extrapolate, in time and/or space, some characteristics of the flow fields, which can only be measured at a few points. Such models often provide a new understanding of the systems, beyond what can be observed directly in the field. Only special field measurements can verify such hypotheses based on numerical models. This is an significant part of this work. For this purpose, two experimental sites have been equipped and measured: Bure site or Milandrine, Ajoie, Switzerland, and Holloch site, Muotathal, Schwyz, Switzerland. These sites gave us this opportunity of simultaneously observe hydrodynamic parameters within the conduit network and, in drillholes, the "low permeability volumes" (LPV) surrounding the conduits.
These observations clearly show the existence of a flow circulation across the low permeability volumes. This flow may represent about 50% of the infiltrated water in the Bure test-field. The epikarst appears to play an important role into the allotment of the infiltrated waters: Part of the infiltrated water is stored at the bottom of the epikarst and slowly flows through the low permeability volumes (LPV) contributing to base flow. When infiltration is significant enough the other part of the water exceeds the storage capacity and flows quickly into the conduit network (quick flow).
For the phreatic zone, observations and models show that the following scheme is adequate to describe the flow behaviour: a network of high permeability conduits, of tow volume, leading to the spring, is surrounded by a large volume of low permeability fissured rock (LPV), which is hydraulically connected to the conduits. Due to the strong difference in hydraulic conductivity between conduits and LPV, hydraulic heads and their variations in time and space are strongly heterogeneous. This makes the use of piezometric maps in karst very questionable.
Flow in LPV can be considered as similar to flow in fractured rocks (laminar flow within joints and joints intersections). At a catchment scale, they can be effectively considered as an equivalent porous media with a hydraulic conductivity of about 10-6 to 10-7 m/s.
Flow in conduits is turbulent and loss of head has to be calculated with appropriate formulas, if wanting any quantitative results. Our observations permitted us to determine the turbulent hydraulic conductivity of some simple karst conduits (k', turbulent flow), which ranges from 0.2 to 11 m/s. Examples also show that the structure of the conduit network plays a significant role on the spatial distribution of hydraulic heads. Particularity hydraulic transmissivity of the aquifer varies with respect to hydrological conditions, because of the presence of overflow conduits located within the epiphreatic zone. This makes the relation between head and discharge not quadratic as would be expected from a (too) simple model (with only one single conduit). The model applied to the downstream part of Holloch is a good illustration of this phenomena.
The flow velocity strongly varies along the length of karst conduits, as shown by tracer experiments. Also, changes in the conduit cross-section produce changes in the (tow velocity profile. Such heterogeneous flow-field plays a significant role in the shape of the breakthrough curves of tracer experiments. It is empirically demonstrated that conduit enlargements induce retardation of the breakthrough curve. If there are several enlargements one after the other, an increase of the apparent dispersivity will result, although no diffusion with the rock matrix or immobile water is present. This produces a scale effect (increase of the apparent dispersivity with observation scale). Such observations can easily be simulated by deterministic and/or black box models.
The structure of karst conduit networks, especially within the phreatic zone, plays an important role not only on the spatial distribution of the hydraulic heads in the conduits themselves, but in the LPV as well. Study of the network geometry is therefore useful for assessing the shape of the flow systems. We further suggest that any hydrogeological study aiming to assess the major characteristics of a flow system should start with a preliminary estimation of the conduit network geometry. Theories and examples presented show that the geometry of karst conduits mainly depends on boundary conditions and the permeability field at the initial stage of the karst genesis. The most significant boundary conditions are: the geometry of the impervious boundaries, infiltration and exfiltration conditions (spring). The initial permeability field is mainly determined by discontinuities (fractures and bedding planes). Today's knowledge allows us to approximate the geometry of a karst network by studying these parameters (impervious boundaries, infiltration, exfiltration, discontinuity field). Analogs and recently developed numerical models help to qualitatively evaluate the sensitivity of the geometry to these parameters. Within the near future, new numerical tools will be developed and will help more closely to address this difficult problem. This development will only be possible if speleological networks can be sufficiently explored and used to calibrate models. Images provided by speleologists to date are and will for a long time be the only data which can adequately portray the conduit networks in karst systems. This is helpful to hydrogeologists. The reason that we present the example of the Lake Thun karst system is that it illustrates the geometry of such conduits networks. Unfortunately, these networks are three-dimensional and their visualisation on paper (2 dimensions) is very restrictive, when compared to more effective 3-D views we can create with computers. As an alternative to deterministic models of speleogenesis, fractal and/or random walk models could be employed.


Sensitivity of karst process to environmental change along the Pep II transect, 1997, Yuan D. X. ,
It has been known since as early as the last century that karst formation is a geologic process related to chemical reaction, but not until the last couple of decades were karst processes viewed as being sensitive to environmental change. The direction and intensity of karst processes are controlled by environmental factors such as temperature, climate, hydrology, vegetation, geology, and the openness of the system to the atmosphere. Accordingly, karst features, as a product of the carbon cycle, differ in space and time. This is clearly evident from the world karst correlation project, IGCP 299. There is a sharp contrast between karst types on both sides of the Qingling Mountain range of central China. Semi-arid karst is located to the north, and humid subtropical karst to the south. Karst features are capable of recording high resolution paleoclimatic change. AMS C-14, isotope and geochemical studies of thin laminae from a giant stalagmite located near Guilin, in southern China, have clearly identified rapid climate changes during the past 40 ka. In karst areas with active neotectonism, huge deposits of calcareous travertine record the amount of deeply sourced CO2 emitted into the atmosphere and can aid studies on modem tectonism because of the association of calcareous travertine with active faults.

Karst aquifer genesis - Modelling approaches and controlling parameters, 1997, Sauter M. , Liedl R. , Clemens T. , Hiickinghaus D.
The quantification of regional groundwater flow and the transport of dissolved substances in a karst system generally poses problems in parameter identification as well as in the modelling of the above processes. On the other hand, available qualitative and quantitative geological information on the history of the development of karst aquifers, which can provide information on the distribution of karstitied horizons within the modelled domain, are generally not considered. A model has been developed, capable of simulating the interactions between the different processes, i.e. flow, transport coupled with carbonate dissolution, taking into account the varying boundary conditions, e.g. changes in geological and geomorphological (base level) and climatic conditions (recharge depth, temperature). A sensitivity analysis of the duration of karstification to changes in climatic parameters and physico-chemical constants of carbonate dissolution shows that the equilibrium concentration of calcium and the initial diameter of the conduits are very dominant factors.

An inexpensive flow-through field fluorometer., 1997, Schnegg Pa. , Doerfliger N.
In order to simplify sampling dye tracers in water streams without having to invest money in expensive systems, we developed a highly sensitive flow-through field fluorometer. This apparatus was tested successfully in the field with fluorescein and sulforhodamine. A submersible probe is connected to a digital data logger and the data is written to a PCMCIA memory card allowing 2 weeks of unattended recording at 1 sample every 4 minutes. A sensitivity as low as 0.05 ppb has been achieved. Simultaneous concentration measurements of 2 tracers is possible, at the expense of reduced sensitivity, however.

Simulation of the development of karst aquifers by using a pipe flow model coupled to a continuum model, 2, Model verification and sensitivity analysis., 1998, Clemens T. , Huckinghaus D. , Sauter M. , Liedl R. , Teutsch G.

Structure et comportement hydraulique des aquifers karstiques, DSc. Thesis, faculte des Sciences de l'Universite de Neuchatel., 1998, Jeannin Py.
This thesis aims to provide a better knowledge of karst flow systems, from a functional point of view (behaviour with time), as well as from a structural one (behaviour in space). The first part of the thesis deals with the hydrodynamic behaviour of karst systems, and the second part with the geometry of karstic networks, which is a strong conditioning factor for the hydrodynamic behaviour. Many models have been developed in the past for describing the hydrodynamic behaviour of karst hydrogeological systems. They usually aim to provide a tool to extrapolate, in time and/or space, some characteristics of the flow fields, which can only be measured at a few points. Such models often provide a new understanding of the systems, beyond what can be observed directly in the field. Only special field measurements can verify such hypotheses based on numerical models. This is an significant part of this work. For this purpose, two experimental sites have been equipped and measured: Bure site or Milandrine, Ajoie, Switzerland, and Holloch site, Muotathal, Schwyz, Switzerland. These sites gave us this opportunity of simultaneously observe hydrodynamic parameters within the conduit network and, in drillholes, the "low permeability volumes" (LPV) surrounding the conduits. These observations clearly show the existence of a flow circulation across the low permeability volumes. This flow may represent about 50% of the infiltrated water in the Bure test-field. The epikarst appears to play an important role into the allotment of the infiltrated waters: Part of the infiltrated water is stored at the bottom of the epikarst and slowly flows through the low permeability volumes (LPV) contributing to base flow. When infiltration is significant enough the other part of the water exceeds the storage capacity and flows quickly into the conduit network (quick flow). For the phreatic zone, observations and models show that the following scheme is adequate to describe the flow behaviour: a network of high permeability conduits, of tow volume, leading to the spring, is surrounded by a large volume of low permeability fissured rock (LPV), which is hydraulically connected to the conduits. Due to the strong difference in hydraulic conductivity between conduits and LPV, hydraulic heads and their variations in time and space are strongly heterogeneous. This makes the use of piezometric maps in karst very questionable. Flow in LPV can be considered as similar to flow in fractured rocks (laminar flow within joints and joints intersections). At a catchment scale, they can be effectively considered as an equivalent porous media with a hydraulic conductivity of about 10-6 to 10-7 m/s. Flow in conduits is turbulent and loss of head has to be calculated with appropriate formulas, if wanting any quantitative results. Our observations permitted us to determine the turbulent hydraulic conductivity of some simple karst conduits (k',turbulent flow), which ranges from 0.2 to 11 m/s. Examples also show that the structure of the conduit network plays a significant role on the spatial distribution of hydraulic heads. Particularity hydraulic transmissivity of the aquifer varies with respect to hydrological conditions, because of the presence of overflow conduits located within the epiphreatic zone. This makes the relation between head and discharge not quadratic as would be expected from a (too) simple model (with only one single conduit). The model applied to the downstream part of Holloch is a good illustration of this phenomena. The flow velocity strongly varies along the length of karst conduits, as shown by tracer experiments. Also, changes in the conduit cross-section produce changes in the (tow velocity profile. Such heterogeneous flow-field plays a significant role in the shape of the breakthrough curves of tracer experiments. It is empirically demonstrated that conduit enlargements induce retardation of the breakthrough curve. If there are several enlargements one after the other, an increase of the apparent dispersivity will result, although no diffusion with the rock matrix or immobile water is present. This produces a scale effect (increase of the apparent dispersivity with observation scale). Such observations can easily be simulated by deterministic and/or black box models. The structure of karst conduit networks, especially within the phreatic zone, plays an important role not only on the spatial distribution of the hydraulic heads in the conduits themselves, but in the LPV as well. Study of the network geometry is therefore useful for assessing the shape of the flow systems. We further suggest that any hydrogeological study aiming to assess the major characteristics of a flow system should start with a preliminary estimation of the conduit network geometry. Theories and examples presented show that the geometry of karst conduits mainly depends on boundary conditions and the permeability field at the initial stage of the karst genesis. The most significant boundary conditions are: the geometry of the impervious boundaries, infiltration and exfiltration conditions (spring). The initial permeability field is mainly determined by discontinuities (fractures and bedding planes). Today's knowledge allows us to approximate the geometry of a karst network by studying these parameters (impervious boundaries, infiltration, exfiltration, discontinuity field). Analogs and recently developed numerical models help to qualitatively evaluate the sensitivity of the geometry to these parameters. Within the near future, new numerical tools will be developed and will help more closely to address this difficult problem. This development will only be possible if speleological networks can be sufficiently explored and used to calibrate models. Images provided by speleologists to date are and will for a long time be the only data which can adequately portray the conduit networks in karst systems. This is helpful to hydrogeologists. The reason that we present the example of the Lake Thun karst system is that it illustrates the geometry of such conduits networks. Unfortunately, these networks are three-dimensional and their visualisation on paper (2 dimensions) is very restrictive, when compared to more effective 3-D views we can create with computers. As an alternative to deterministic models of speleogenesis, fractal and/or random walk models could be employed.

Water vulnerability assessment in karst environments: a new method of defining protection areas using a multi-attribute approach and GIS tools (EPIK method), 1999, Doerfliger N, Jeannin Py, Zwahlen F,
Groundwater resources from karst aquifers play a major role in the water supply in karst areas in the world, such as in Switzerland. Defining groundwater protection zones in karst environment is frequently not founded on a solid hydrogeological basis. Protection zones are often inadequate and as a result they may be ineffective. In order to improve this situation, the Federal Office for Environment, Forests and Landscape with the Swiss National Hydrological and Geological Survey contracted the Centre of Hydrogeology of the Neuchatel University to develop a new groundwater protection-zones strategy in karst environment. This approach is based on the vulnerability mapping of the catchment areas of water supplies provided by springs or boreholes. Vulnerability is here defined as the intrinsic geological and hydrogeological characteristics which determine the sensitivity of groundwater to contamination by human activities. The EPIK method is a multi-attribute method for vulnerability mapping which takes into consideration the specific hydrogeological behaviour of karst aquifers. EPIK is based on a conceptual model of karst hydrological systems, which suggests considering four karst aquifer attributes: (1) Epikarst, (2) Protective cover, (3) Infiltration conditions and (4) Karst network development. Each of these four attributes is subdivided into classes which are mapped over the whole water catchment. The attributes and their classes are then weighted. Attribute maps are overlain in order to obtain a final vulnerability map. From the vulnerability map, the groundwater protection zones are defined precisely. This method was applied at several sites in Switzerland where agriculture contamination problems have frequently occurred. These applications resulted in recommend new boundaries for the karst water supplies protection-zones

Landscape evolution and the preservation of tectonic landforms along the northern Yammouneh Fault, Lebanon, 1999, Butler Rwh, Spencer S,
The Yammouneh Fault is commonly considered to be the principal active strand of the Dead Sea Transform in Lebanon -- an inference reached primarily from interpretations of the geomorphological expression of the fault on satellite images. However, new geological field observations show the Yammouneh Fault to be sealed stratigraphically by the Homs Basalt, dated using new K-Ar ages at 5.2-6.5 Ma. Drainage systems which link to the pre-Homs Basalt palaeosurface show evidence of fault disruption. Those valleys incised into the basalt show no evidence for transcurrent offsets. The inferred left-lateral displacement of c. 45 km on the Dead Sea Transform that post-dates the Homs Basalt is presumed to have bypassed to the west of Mount Lebanon. These linked geological and geomorphological studies indicate that landscape evolution can be exceptionally slow in northern Lebanon. Faceted spurs, poljes and offset drainage along the Yammouneh Fault across Mount Lebanon, evident on satellite images, are interpreted as being of Miocene age and are not indicative of Plio-Quaternary displacements on the fault. Much of the Lebanese tectonic landscape has thus remained stable for many millions of years, although locally incised during large-scale uplift of the Mount Lebanon range. Presumably landscape insensitivity reflects the arid climatic conditions together with inhibited run-off due to the regional karst system

Karst aquifer evolution in fractured rocks, 1999, Kaufmann G. , Braun J. ,
We study the large-scale evolution and flow in a fractured karst aquifer by means of a newly developed numerical method. A karst aquifer is discretized into a set of irregularly spaced nodal points, which are connected to their set of natural neighbors to simulate a network of interconnected conduits in two dimensions. The conduits are allowed to enlarge by solutional widening. The geometric flexibility of this method, along with a simplified model for the dissolution kinetics within the system water-carbon dioxide-calcite, enables us to study both laminar and turbulent flow in a karst aquifer during its early phase of evolution. A sensitivity analysis is conducted for parameters such as conduit diameter, hydraulic pressure differences, and recharge conditions along the surface of the aquifer and shows that passage evolution depends strongly on the recharge condition and the amount of water available. Under fixed hydraulic head boundary conditions an early single-passage system develops under laminar conditions and is transformed into a maze-like passage system after the onset of turbulence. Fixed recharge boundary conditions are more likely to result in a branchwork-like passage system, although the addition of distributed recharge may lead to a maze-like system of secondary passages

Investigations of the vegetation and soil in the dolinas of Mecsek mountains, South Hungary, 1999, Hoyk, Edit

The data of karst ecological study in Mecsek Mountain (South Hungary) can be compared by the analyses in Bükk Mountain and Aggtelek (North Hungary). The western part of Mecsek Mountain is rich in karst forms, the rock base being in strongly fissured Triassic limestone. From a morphometric point of view these dolines are significantly different from those in the karst areas of Bükk and Aggtelek; they are smaller, more shallow and funnel shaped. The amount of 700 mm precipitation per year and increased CO2 production of root systems play an essential role. Soil research studies also support the juvenility of these dolines. Dolines in the Orfü karst plateau are in a natural state, more or less free from anthropogenic influences; however, indirect effect can be shown by the fact that the soil pH is turning sour. This state close to its natural condition is of great value of the landscape, as nowadays it is an important task to conserve the natural conditions of the environment, especially in karst regions. The karst is a highly vulnerable natural system that reacts with great sensitivity to anthropogenic influences, so it requires increased protection; this is why it would be reasonable to include the Orfü karst region in conservation projects.


Sensitivity analysis for the EPIK method of vulnerability assessment in a small karstic aquifer, southern Belgium, 2000, Gogu Radu Constantin, Dassargues Alain,

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