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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology

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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. ...

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 spring, valley is springs occurring at valley sides where the water table intersects the land surface.?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms

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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for water-table (Keyword) returned 95 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 95
Processes of limestone cave development., 1964,
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Howard Alan D.
Three processes successively predominate in enlarging original fractures within limestone into cavern passages: (I) early dissolving by acid produced by oxidizing reactions within the groundwater as it flows through the limestone; (2) dissolving caused by the initial undersaturation with respect to calcite of the groundwater when it enters the limestone; and (3) increased dissolving which occurs at the transition from laminar to turbulent groundwater flow. Only those original fractures in limestone which are widest and which have a high hydraulic gradient acting across them will be enlarged into cavern passages. Until all available surface drainage has been diverted underground, cavern development takes place under a constant hydraulic head, and the rate of limestone solution increases with time. After all available surface drainage has been diverted underground, the discharge through the cave, rather than the hydraulic head, remains constant, and the rate of limestone solution decreases toward a constant value. These principles apply to caverns formed both by water-table flow and by artesian flow.

The Water-table Concept in Limestones, 1966,
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Drew D. P.

Theoretical analysis of regional groundwater flow. 2. Effect of water-table configuration and subsurface permeability variations, 1967,
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Freeze R. A. , Witherspoon P. A

Hydrology of carbonate rock terranes -- A review , : With special reference to the United States, 1969,
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Stringfield V. T. , Legrand H. E. ,
Limestone and other carbonate rocks are characterized by many unusual features and extreme conditions, either involving the hydrologic system within them or wrought by hydrologic conditions on them or through them. Perhaps there could be little agreement as to what is typical or average for the many features of carbonate rocks, as indicated by the following conditions: bare rock and thin soils are common, but so are thick soils; very highly permeable limestones are common, but so are poorly permeable ones; and rugged karst topographic features with underlying solution caverns are common, but so are flat, nearly featureless topographic conditions. Some conditions of carbonate terranes are suitable to man's needs and interests, such as the use of some permeable aquifers for water supply and the exploitation of caves for tourist attractions. On the other hand, many problems may exist, including: permeability too low for adequate water supply or so high that the aquifer retains too little water for use during periods of fair weather, soils too thin for growing of crops and for adequate filtration of wastes near the ground surface, instability of the ground for buildings and foundations in sinkhole areas, and unusually rugged topography. Some of the many variable conditions are readily observable, but others can be determined only by careful geologic and hydrologic studies.The need for knowing the specific geologic and hydrologic conditions at various places in limestone terranes, as well as the variations in hydrologic conditions with changing conditions and time, has resulted in many published reports on local areas and on special topical problems of limestone hydrology. Many of these reports have been used to advantage by the present writers in preparing this paper.The concept that secondary permeability is developed by circulation of water through openings with the accompanying enlargement of these openings by solution is now universally accepted in limestone terranes. Emphasis is placed on the hydrogeologic framework, or structural setting, in relation to the ease or difficulty of water to move from a source of recharge, through a part of the limestone, to a discharge area. Parts of the limestone favored by circulating ground water tend to develop solution openings, commonly in the upper part of the zone of saturation; as base level is lowered (sea level or perennial stream level), the related water table lowers in the limestone leaving air-filled caverns above the present zone of saturation in sinkhole areas. Reconstruction of the geologic and hydrologic history of a limestone area aids in determining the extent of development and the positions of fossil and present permeability. References are made to the hydrology of many limestone regions, especially those of the United States

Symposium on Cave Origin - The Concepts of Water Flow and Water-tables in Limestones, 1971,
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Smith D. I.

Hydrogeologic Constraints on Yucatan's Development, 1974,
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Doehring Do, Butler Jh,
The Republic of Mexico has an ambitious and effective national water program. The Secretaria de Recursos Hidraulicos (SRH), whose director has cabinet rank in the federal government, is one of the most professionally distinguished government agencies of its kind in the Americas. Resources for the Future, Inc., has been assisting the World Bank with a water planning study which the Bank is undertaking jointly with the Mexican government. The study is intended to provide guidelines for the development of government policies and projects designed to bring about the most efficient use of Mexico's water resources. However, to date, their study has not been directed toward the growing problems of the northern Yucataan Peninsula which are discussed here.LeGrand (13) suggested that man has inherited a harsh environment in carbonate terranes. In the case of the northern Yucatan Peninsula, the physical environment creates a set of hydrogeologic constraints to future economic and social development. Planning for intermediate and long-range land use on the peninsula must be related directly to the limited and fragile groundwater source. Continued contamination will make future aquifer management a difficult challenge for federal, state, and territorial agencies. We conclude that any strategy for long-range land use in the study area should include establishment of a regional aquifermonitoring network for long-term measurements of key hydrogeologic parameters, including precipitation, evapotranspiration, water table elevations, and water quality. Information from this network would flow into a central facility for storage, interpretation, and analysis. At present the SRH is collecting some of these data. Expansion of the existing program to provide sound information for regional planning will greatly benefit present as well as future generations. If such a program is implemented, it will represent a model for regional planning in other tropical and subtropical karstic terrains

The karst of Transvaal (South Africa)., 1976,
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Kavalieris I. , Martini Jacques E. J.
The Transvaal Karst is a world important example of a Karst developed on a very old dolomite. Its unique character is due to the composition of the rock and history of development. The dissolution of the dolomite is interesting and has an important effect on the character of the caves developed. The caves preserved in this area include the longest known in South Africa and are perhaps among the largest dolomite systems known in the world. They are very old and in some cases contain important palaeontological deposits (Australopithecine fauna). The caves to various degrees are in a state of de-generation, having been exposed for a very long period above the water-table. For the greater part of the Karst area, aggressive vadose waters, and long exposure has resulted in the accumulation of a thick covering of residual material. The plateau-like geomorphology and low rainfalls has prevented physical erosion and significant removal of this debris from the land surface. The caves themselves are often characterized by collapse and in general lack of formations. Massive calcite formation in the caves is usually partly or nearly completely redissolved and are relics of past colder climatic periods with winter rains. Formations active now are small, usually delicate and often due directly to evaporation. The heavy mantle of residual debris preserved under some of the more ancient of South African landsurface relics (the African Surface) poses a serious economic problem of stability, with mans' utilization of the environment. A greater understanding of the Karst, its evolution and properties is thus of considerable practical importance.

The development of limestone cave systems in the dimensions of length and depth., 1978,
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Ewers R. O. , Ford Derek Clifford
Karst caves are defined as solutional cavities 5-16 mm in diameter and discussion is limited to cases where such continuously extend to a surficial input or output or both. Three opposed sets of general genetic hypotheses ("the classical hypotheses") have been presented for such caves, Arguing that the majority develop 1) in the vadose zone 2) in the phreatic zone 3) proximate and parallel to a watertable. It is contended here that vadose, phreatc and watertable caves are all of common occurrence and may be linked in one genetic theory. A four state model is proposed in which ideal phreatic and watertable caverns are end members: in a given massif of soluble rock the state (cave type) that develops is a function of the frequency of fissures penetrable by groundwater. The water-table type is the high frequency end member. Fissure frequency increases with passage of time after onset of karstification and gradational features may also develop to modify phreatic types. Vadose caves may be of "drawdown" type (following an initial phreatic path) or "invasion" type (developing a new path through rock drained by earlier caves). Extensive cave systems may comprise vadose, phreatic and/or watertable developed contemporaneously.

The role of the subcutaneous zone in karst hydrology, 1983,
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Williams Paul W. ,
The subcutaneous zone is the upper weathered layer of rock beneath the soil, but above the permanently saturated (phreatic) zone. It is of particular hydrological importance in karst because of its high secondary permeability, arising from the considerable chemical solution in this zone. However, corrosional enlargement of fissures diminishes with depth; thus permeability decreases in the same direction with the result that percolation is inhibited, except down widened master joints and faults. Storage of water consequently occurs in this zone, particularly after storms. The upper surface of this suspended saturated layer in the subcutaneous zone is defined by a perched water table, which slopes towards points of rapid vertical percolation. The potential induces lateral water movement converging on the most permeable areas such as beneath dolines. Leakage from the subcutaneous store sustains slow percolation in the vadose zone. Cross-correlation of rainfall with percolation rates in caves in New Mexico, U.S.A., and New Zealand reveal response lags of 2-14 weeks with no apparent relationship to depth below the surface. Other percolation sites show no correlation with rainfall; interpreted as being a consequence of considerable friction in tight fissure networks. The recognition of storage and rapid as well as very slow percolation from the subcutaneous zone requires re-interpretation of the components of hydrographs from karst springs and of some conceptual models of karst aquifers. The importance of subcutaneous storage in sustaining baseflow discharge at some sites must be recognised, as must the contribution of subcutaneous water to flood hydrographs. Methods of estimating the volumes of subcutaneous and phreatic components of karst-spring flood hydrographs are presented. The paper concludes with a discussion of the significance of subcutaneous hydrologic processes for an understanding of karst geomorphology. The desirability of explaining karst landform evolution in terms of hydrologic processes is stressed

Subsidence associated with the abstraction of fluids, 1988,
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Bell Fg,
Subsidence of the ground surface due to the withdrawal of groundwater, oil, gas or brine from sedimentary deposits has ccurred in many parts of the world. The abstraction of groundwater has been the principal cause of subsidence, primarily because more groundwater is abstracted than all the other liquids put together. Subsidences of several metres have been recorded, for example, in California due to the exploitation of oil, as well as groundwater. Such ground movements represent a notable problem in engineering geology. Generally these subsidences take place slowly but the occurrence at the surface of sinkholes as a result of water tables being lowered in limestone terrains is a rapid process. In the case of groundwater, gas or oil abstraction the reduction in pore pressure in the voids due to the decline in head leads to an increase in effective load on the sediments concerned, bringing about consolidation, which is reflected at the surface as subsidence. On the other hand when mineral deposits are worked by solution mining the rock material itself is removed which, if uncontrolled, resultsin subsidence. The removal of fluids from sediments frequently has resulted in the formation of fissures at the surface. Indeed there are cases on record where faults are alleged to have been formed. Such fissures often occur around the periphery of the subsidence trough

Civil engineering difficulties in the karst of China, 1988,
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Waltham A. C. , Smart P. L. ,
Karst landscapes, developed by solutional erosion of massive limestones, are characterized by underground drainage and the development of closed depressions. In tropical areas, with high solution rates, long uninterrupted periods of erosion and a lack of glacial planation, the expansion and deepening of these closed depressions creates a rugged relief dominated by either conical hills or steeper-sided towers. The form of the cones and towers is a function of both the carbonate lithology and the erosional history; the towers develop only in massive, mechanically strong, compact limestones where erosional planation and tectonic uplift have kept pace over a long period of time (Smart et al 1986). These karst landscapes are characteristic of huge areas of southern China, largely in the provinces of Guangxi and Guizhou (Fig. 1) and the spectacular scenery of the limestone has often been represented in classical Chinese painting. They are now also becoming a major tourist attraction, with Guilin, in Guangxi, frequently visited by Westerners. These terrains do, however, pose serious difficulties to the civil engineer. Where relief is not great, or where rates of uplift have been low, corridors of flatter ground have often been created by lateral planation at the water table. These corridors may be lithologically or structurally controlled, and form obvious routes through the karst. Where the relief is higher and the regional water table is not intersected, coalescence of the depressions to form flatter ground is rare, and road and rail development is more problematic. In order to avoid excessive and ... This 250-word extract was created in the absence of an abstract

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Roux P. H. , Hall R. L. , Ross R. H. ,
A ground water monitoring study was conducted for the triazine herbicide simazine at 11 sites in the United States. The study used carefully selected, small-scale sites (average size: about 33 acres) with documented product use and sensitive hydrogeological settings. The sites selected were Tulare County, California (two sites); Fresno County, California; Sussex County, Delaware; Hardee and Palm Beach counties, Florida; Winnebago County, Illinois; Jackson County, Indiana; Van Buren and Berrien counties, Michigan; and Jefferson County, West Virginia. These sites satisfied the following criteria: a history of simazine use, including the year prior to the start of the study; permeable soil and vadose zone; shallow depth to water; no restrictive soil layers above the water table; and gentle slopes not exceeding 2 percent. A variety of crop types, climates, and irrigation practices were included. Monitoring well clusters (shallow and deep) were installed at each site except in California and West Virginia, where only shallow wells were installed. Simazine was monitored at these sites at quarterly intervals for a two-year period during 1986-1988. The results of the study showed that out of 153 samples analyzed, 45 samples showed simazine detections. A substantial majority of the detections (32 out of 45) occurred in Tulare, Fresno, and Jefferson counties. The detections in these areas were attributed to mechanisms other than leaching, such as drainage wells, karst areas, surface water recharge, or point source problems. An additional 11 detections in Van Buren County were apparently due to an unknown upgradient source. Only one detection (in Palm Beach County, Florida) near the screening level of 0.1 ppb was attributed to possible leaching. The results of this investigation support the hypothesis that simazine does not leach significantly under field use conditions

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Thrailkill J. , Sullivan S. B. , Gouzie D. R. ,
In the carbonate aquifers which underlie most karst terrains, groundwater flow is through a dendritic system of solution conduits. In such aquifers, termed shallow conduit-flow aquifers. the methods used to mode) granular and fracture aquifers are not generally applicable. Investigations were conducted in the Inner Bluegrass Karst Region of central Kentucky with the objective of developing methods of modeling shallow conduit-flow aquifers as well as obtaining quantitative information on a specific portion of the aquifer to assist in its management for water supply purposes. In the Inner Bluegrass Karst Region, groundwater basins are developed. in each of which there is an integrated system of solution conduits which conducts recharge to a major spring. One of the largest of these groundwater basins feeds Royal Spring, which serves as the principal water supply for the town of Georgetown. The basin extends over 15 km to the southeast and most of its flow is furnished by underground diversions of Cane Run, a surface stream with headwaters near the center of the City of Lexington. The principal objectives of the field investigation were to determine discharges at the spring and travel times to the spring from discrete recharge points within the basin, termed swallets. The spring is ungaged. and an attempt was made to obtain a continuous discharge record by the dilution of dye introduced at a swallet. Comparison of the dye-dilution discharge record with stage discharges at the spring revealed substantial discrepancies which are believed to be caused by as much as five-sixths of the low-flow discharge from the upper portion of the basin bypassing the spring. The dye-dilution method, therefore, provided significant insights into the geometry of the conduit system of the groundwater basin although it proved unsatisfactory as a method of determining discharges at the spring. Analysis of the travel times and stage discharges provided information on the conduit geometry by modeling the flow as open-channel flow in a rectangular channel. Flow in the system is rapid, ranging from 140 to 590 m h-1. Although the flow rate increases with discharge, the relationship is not simple owing to substantial increases in conduit cross-sectional area at higher discharges. Flow is turbulent and subcritical under all conditions. The most surprising result was the very low depth of flow calculated; less than 17 cm at even the highest discharge. Although this must be considered an 'equivalent' depth, it is believed to indicate that active flow in shallow conduit-flow aquifers is generally in a thin zone just beneath the water table

Signification godynamique des rseaux karstiques tags du canyon de Baudinard (moyennes gorges du Verdon, 1992,
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Blanc, J. J.
GEODYNAMIC SIGNIFICATION OF LEVELLED KARSTIC NETWORKS IN THE BAUDINARD CANYON (VERDON CANYON, FRANCE) - An intense speleogenic activity can be observed in the Baudinard canyon: some levelled systems in relation to the lowering karstic water-table linked to the formation of the canyon, during Messinian, Pliocene and Quaternary periods. An active tectonic framework shows many deformations of the ante-vindobonian surface during the plio-quaternary burrowing canyon phases. Azimuth gallery direction analysis reveals several sorts of drainage network: linear, smoothed with loops, labyrinths and drainage-confluences. Networks are induced by local and successive tectonic actions. The gallery wall deformations are strongly marked by the shrinking stresses and interstrata shearing.

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Blavoux B, Mudry J, Puig Jm,
The karst aquifer of the well-known Fontaine de Vaucluse has been recently studied, results have been got about delimitation of the system and its working. Geological data (lithology and structure) have allowed to delimit an 1115 Km2 intake area including Ventoux-Lure north facing range (1,909-1,826 m) and the Plateau which is prolonging it southwards (Fig. 1 and 2). The average altitude of the whole area, obtained by balancing elevation belt surfaces, is about 870 m. This elevation squares with results of tracing tests (Fig. 3), environmental physical, chemical and isotopic tracings, that allow to value a 850 m average altitude for the intake area (Fig. 4). The moisture balance has been computed from an altitude belts climatic model, using local rain an temperature gradients (Fig. 5 and Table II), because the weather network is not representative. So, rainfalls rise of about 55 mm per 100 m elevation and temperature decreases of about 0.5-degrees-C per 100 m. The consequence of these two antagonist phenomena is the quasi constant value of actual evapotranspiration on each altitude belt. With the Fig. 7 organigram, curves of effective rainfalls and infiltration coefficient versus elevation can be plotted (Fig. 6). This computation shows that 3/4 of the total and the whole of dry season effective rainfalls are provided by the part of the intake area situated above the average altitude: on the lowest belt, effective rainfalls are only 120 mm per year and increase to 1380 mm on the upper section (Fig. 8 and Table 1). The weighted effective rainfalls are about 570 mm per year for the whole intake area. Hydrodynamical and physico-chemical studies show, despite its large size, the weak inertia of the system, so proves its good karstification, that confirms for the whole system the pin-point speleological observations. The discharge of the spring, which average value is 21 m3.s-1 (only 18 for the last ten years), can exceed 100 m3.s-1 and the minimum has never been lower than 3.7 m3.s-1 (Fig. 9). When it rains on the intake area, the increase of the discharge is very sudden in a rainy period : one to four days. This short delay is due to seepage through epikarst and unsaturated zone. During dry periods, the spring reaction is deadened, due to storage in the unsaturated zone. The silica content distribution was plotted during several hydrokinematical phases (Fig. 10). It shows: an almost unimodal distribution for the 8 km2 fissured limestone aquifer of Groseau; a multimodal one for the 1115 km2 karst aquifer of Fontaine de Vaucluse. This proves that karstification is more important than size in the response of the system. Weak summer rainfalls do not influence the discharge, nevertheless they influence chemistry of the spring water, and so interrupts the water depletion phasis. Then, the decrease of discharge can continue after the end of the chemical depletion phasis, water which is overflowing after summer rainfalls (in a dry period) is influenced hy the chemistry of seepage water : on the graph of a principal components analysis, done on chemical variables. an hysteresis phenomenon can be seen (Fig. 11). A discriminant analysis (Fig. 12) confirms that these autumn waters, with high ratio seepage tracers, are not reserve waters from the saturated zone. The ratio of reserve water in the total discharge, is preponderant: 3/4 and 2/3 respectively of the yearly runoff volumes for 1981 and 1982 (Fig. 13), but an important part of these reserves can be stored in the unsaturated zone. This storage capacity can be valued by different means: transposing to Vaucluse (1115 km2) the volume measured on another karst system in the Pyrenees (13 km2); it gives about 100 million m2; using setting parameters of Bezes model (1976) on the same aquifer: it gives 113 million m3; using depletion curves, that show, for instance during the 1989 summer and autumn dry period, a 80 million m3 volume. In all cases, we get a value of about one hundred million m3 for the storage capacity of the unsaturated zone. With a 20 m range of fluctuation for the water table and with a 10(-2) specific yield, on a 500 to 1,000 km2 saturated zone, the zone of fluctuation can release about 10 to 20 million m3. Then, the volume of water stored in the whole saturated zone, with a 300 m minimum thickness (depth of the waterlogged pit of the Fontaine), a 500 km2 minimum surface and a 10(-3) specific yield, is about 150 million m3, including 27 million m3 stored in the channels. So, the unsaturated zone represents a significant part of the whole storage capacity and most of the yearly renewable reserves. Paradoxically, the biggest french spring is not tapped at all; as its intake area is neither a regional nor a national park, no general protection covers it : because of its good karstification, the vulnerability of the system is important. Good quality of water is attributable to the low population and human activities density on the intake area (4 A great part of the intake area is uncultivated (large forest and ''garrigues'' areas). Due to the lack of surface water and scantness of soils, agriculture is not intensive (lavender, thyme, sage and bulk wheat fields. meadowlands). On the mountainous zone, roads are salted in winter and snowmelt water can reach a significantly high chloride ratio than in a natural climatic functioning (for instance 25 mg.l-1 in Font d'Angiou where the ratio would have been 3 mg.l-1). As tourism is developing both on the mountain and on the plateau, the management of the highest intake area must be carefully held: its part is preponderant in the feeding of the system

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