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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 vasque is a large, shallow solution pan formed in the intertidal zone of warm seas by the action of brine and marine organisms [19].?

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Your search for spring discharge (Keyword) returned 62 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 62
A four-component mixing model for water in a karst terrain in south-central Indiana, USA. Using solute concentration and stable isotopes as tracers, 2001, Lee E. S. , Krothe N. C. ,
The study area lies in a highly karstified carbonate terrain in south central Indiana. Sinkholes, conduits, and caves form large secondary pathways for the subsurface flow. As a result, the discharge from a main emergence point for the subsurface flow system, the Orangeville Rise, quickly responds to the storm events and shows wide variations in flow rate, water chemistry, and stable isotopic compositions. These responses are attributed to the mixing of water in secondary pathways. In the study area, recharge occurs through the thick, mantled karst plain and the sinkhole plains, and the role of soil layer and epikarst in the recharge process is of great importance. Rain (DIC: 2 HCO3- mg/l, delta C-13 (DIC): - 7%o) soil water (DIC: 544 HCO3- mg/l, delta C-13(DIC): - 14.7%o), epikarstic water (DIC: 224 HCO3- mg/l delta C-13(DIC): - 13.6%o), and phreatic diffuse flow water (DIC: 299 HCO3- mg/l, delta C-13(DIC): - 11.8%o) generally showed unique and constant dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and delta C-13(DIC) values over time. Using DIC and delta C-13(DIC) as tracers, a four-component mixing model was established for the karstic flow system. By constructing the discharge hydrograph separation curves, the mixing ratio of each component, rain (10.6%), soil (3.1%), epikarstic (52.3%), and phreatic (34.0%) water, was determined for the Orangeville Rise discharge over the testing period of 104 h after the storm event of 10/4/90. Vadose water occupied 55.4% of spring discharge and this demonstrates the importance of the unsaturated zone, especially the epikarst, in the karstic flow systems. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Analysis of the maximum discharge of karst springs, 2001, Bonacci O,
Analyses are presented of the conditions that limit the discharge of some karst springs. The large number of springs studied show that, under conditions of extremely intense precipitation, a maximum value exists for the discharge of the main springs in a catchment, independent of catchment size and the amount of precipitation. Outflow modelling of karst-spring discharge is not easily generalized and schematized due to numerous specific characteristics of karst-flow systems. A detailed examination of the published data on four karst springs identified the possible reasons for the limitation on the maximum flow rate: (1) limited size of the karst conduit; (2) pressure flow; (3) intercatchment overflow; (4) overflow from the main spring-flow system to intermittent springs within the same catchment; (5) water storage in the zone above the karst aquifer or epikarstic zone of the catchment; and (6) factors such as climate, soil and vegetation cover, and altitude and geology of the catchment area. The phenomenon of limited maximum-discharge capacity of karst springs is not included in rainfall-runoff process modelling, which is probably one of the main reasons for the present poor quality of karst hydrological modelling

The environmental impacts of human activities and engineering constructions in karst regions, 2002, Milanovic P. ,
With increasing demands on water resources in karst regions, an important issue is how to keep the balance between the necessity for development and preservation of complex and unpredictable hydrogeological systems. Karst terrains have been modified and adapted through a range of human activities as needs for drinking water, hydroelectric power and other resources increase. In many regions, reclamation projects, construction of large dams and reservoirs, deep underground excavations and complex foundation structures have had a detrimental impact on the environment. However, because each karst region is unique, the nature of environmental change is unpredictable, often occurs very rapidly, and similar situations are seldom, if ever, repeated. Changes in karst function can have a profound impact on regional ecological, infrastructure, social and political systems. The majority of impacts can be foreseen and mitigated by appropriate designs. Ecological and environmental protection is more difficult when the changes are unexpected and source of problem is some distance from the impacted area. Optimal environmental protection requires a multidisciplinary approach, a lot of patience and perseverance, and adequate funds. Legal aspects and insurability are also very important basic elements in karst environmental protection. Criteria for determining the environmental protection, as well as regulatory procedures that are applicable for nonkarst regions are generally not suitable for karst terrain. Successful solutions require serious and complex geological/hydrogeological investigation programs and close co-operation of a wide spectrum of scientists and engineers: geologists, civil engineers, biologists, chemists, hydrogeologists, geophysicists, sociologists and many others. In karst areas where interrelations and interactions are inadequately known, the ultimate aim is identification of crucial parameters that define causes and consequences between human activities and the resulting impact (cause-and-effect relations). As a consequence of human activities and engineering construction in karst regions, the common negative environmental impacts are: severe spring discharge change, groundwater quality deterioration, endemic fauna endangering, waste disposal failures, induced seismicity, induced sinkholes, and a number of different secondary uncertainties. In some cases, socio-economic problems related to migration from submerged regions are very pronounced. Similar problems are related with flooding of cultural and historical monuments and natural rarities. The major aims of proper planning of water resource systems in karst terrain are to minimize negative and to maximize positive environmental impacts. The optimal strategy of water resources development in karst areas is a key requirement for regional socio-economic development

Inferring source waters from measurements of carbonate spring response to storms, 2002, Desmarais K, Rojstaczer S,
We infer information about the nature of groundwater flow within a karst aquifer from the physical and chemical response of a spring to storm events. The spring discharges from the Maynardville Limestone in Bear Creek Valley, Tennessee. Initially, spring discharge peaks approximately 1-2 h from the midpoint of summer storms. The initial peak is likely due to surface loading, which pressurizes the aquifer and results in water moving out of storage. All of the storms monitored exhibited recessions that follow a master recession curve very closely, indicating that storm response is fairly consistent and repeatable, independent of the time between storms and the configuration of the rain event itself. Electrical conductivity initially increases for 0.5-2.9 days (longer for smaller storms), the result of moving older water out of storage. This is followed by a 2.1-2.5 day decrease in conductivity, resulting from an increasing portion of low conductivity recharge water entering the spring. Stable carbon isotope data and the calcite saturation index of the spring water also support this conceptual model. Spring flow is likely controlled by displaced water from the aquifer rather than by direct recharge through the soil zone. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Characterisation of karst systems by simulating aquifer genesis and spring responses: model development and application to gypsum karst., 2002, Birk S.
Karst aquifers are important groundwater resources, which are highly vulnerable to contamination due to fast transport in solutionally enlarged conduits. Management and protection of karst water resources require an adequate aquifer characterisation at the catchment scale. Due to the heterogeneity and complexity of karst systems, this is not easily achieved by standard investigation techniques such as pumping tests. Therefore, a process-based numerical modelling tool is developed, designed to support the karst aquifer characterisation using two complementary approaches: Firstly, the simulation of conduit enlargement, which aims at predicting aquifer properties by forward modelling of long-term karst genesis; secondly, the simulation of heat and solute transport processes, which aims at inferring aquifer properties from short-term karst spring response after recharge events. Karst genesis modelling is applied to a conceptual setting based on field observations from the Western Ukraine, where the major part of known gypsum caves is found. Gypsum layers are typically supplied by artesian flow of aggressive water from insoluble aquifers underneath. Processes and parameters, controlling solutional enlargement of single conduits under artesian conditions, are identified in detailed sensitivity analyses. The development of conduit networks is examined in parameter studies, suggesting that the evolution of maze caves is predetermined by structural preferences such as laterally extended fissure networks beneath a horizon less prone to karstification. Without any structural preferences vertical shafts rather than maze caves are predicted to develop. The structure of the mature conduit system is found to be determined during early karstification, which is characterised by high hydraulic gradients and low flow rates in the gypsum layer. Short-term karst spring response after recharge events is firstly examined in parameter studies by forward modelling. The numerical simulations reveal that different controlling processes of heat and solute transport account for the different behaviour of water temperature and solute concentration frequently observed at karst springs. It is demonstrated that these differences may be employed to reduce the ambiguity in the aquifer characterisation. In order to test the feasibility of the corresponding inverse approach, which aims at inferring aquifer properties from the karst spring response, the model is applied to a field site in Southern Germany (Urenbrunnen spring, Vohringen). Data input is provided by both literature and own field work. Several models, which reproduce the results of a combined tracer and recharge test, are calibrated to spring discharges and solute concentrations measured after a recharge event. In order to validate the calibrated models, the measured spring water temperatures are simulated by heat transport modelling. The model application yields information on aquifer properties as well as flow and transport processes at the field site. Advection is identified as the dominant transport process, whereas the dissolution reaction of gypsum is found to be insignificant in this case. The application to gypsum aquifers demonstrates that both suggested approaches are suitable for the characterisation of karst systems. Model results, however, are highly sensitive to several input parameters, in particular in karst genesis modelling. Therefore, extensive field work is required to provide reliable data for site-specific model applications. In order to account for uncertainties, it is recommended to conduct parameter studies covering possible ranges of the most influential parameters.

Characterisation of karst systems by simulating aquifer genesis and spring responses: model development and application to gypsum karst, PhD thesis, 2002, Birk, S.

Karst aquifers are important groundwater resources, which are highly vulnerable to contamination due to fast transport in solutionally enlarged conduits. Management and protection of karst water resources require an adequate aquifer characterisation at the catchment scale. Due to the heterogeneity and complexity of karst systems, this is not easily achieved by standard investigation techniques such as pumping tests. Therefore, a process-based numerical modelling tool is developed, designed to support the karst aquifer characterisation using two complementary approaches: Firstly, the simulation of conduit enlargement, which aims at predicting aquifer properties by forward modelling of long-term karst genesis; secondly, the simulation of heat and solute transport processes, which aims at inferring aquifer properties from short-term karst spring response after recharge events.
Karst genesis modelling is applied to a conceptual setting based on field observations from the Western Ukraine, where the major part of known gypsum caves is found. Gypsum layers are typically supplied by artesian flow of aggressive water from insoluble aquifers underneath. Processes and parameters, controlling solutional enlargement of single conduits under artesian conditions, are identified in detailed sensitivity analyses. The development of conduit networks is examined in parameter studies, suggesting that the evolution of maze caves is predetermined by structural preferences such as laterally extended fissure networks beneath a horizon less prone to karstification. Without any structural preferences vertical shafts rather than maze caves are predicted to develop. The structure of the mature conduit system is found to be determined during early karstification, which is characterised by high hydraulic gradients and low flow rates in the gypsum layer.
Short-term karst spring response after recharge events is firstly examined in parameter studies by forward modelling. The numerical simulations reveal that different controlling processes of heat and solute transport account for the different behaviour of water temperature and solute concentration frequently observed at karst springs. It is demonstrated that these differences may be employed to reduce the ambiguity in the aquifer characterisation.
In order to test the feasibility of the corresponding inverse approach, which aims at inferring aquifer properties from the karst spring response, the model is applied to a field site in Southern Germany (Urenbrunnen spring, Vohringen). Data input is provided by both literature and own field work. Several models, which reproduce the results of a combined tracer and recharge test, are calibrated to spring discharges and solute concentrations measured after a recharge event. In order to validate the calibrated models, the measured spring water temperatures are simulated by heat transport modelling. The model application yields information on aquifer properties as well as flow and transport processes at the field site. Advection is identified as the dominant transport process, whereas the dissolution reaction of gypsum is found to be insignificant in this case.
The application to gypsum aquifers demonstrates that both suggested approaches are suitable for the characterisation of karst systems. Model results, however, are highly sensitive to several input parameters, in particular in karst genesis modelling. Therefore, extensive field work is required to provide reliable data for site-specific model applications. In order to account for uncertainties, it is recommended to conduct parameter studies covering possible ranges of the most influential parameters.


Hydrogeological overview of the Bure plateau, Ajoie, Switzerland, 2003, Kovacs A. , Jeannin P. Y. ,
This study presents a hydrogeological synthesis of the most recent data from the Bure plateau in Ajoie, canton Jura, NW Switzerland. Included is a complete reappraisal of aquifer geometry and aquifer boundaries, the delineation of catchment areas based on tracing experiments, and the evaluation of the hydraulic role of different hydrostratigraphic units. Furthermore, it presents GIS-based calculations on the mean piezometric surface, the thickness of the unsaturated zone and on the thickness of the minimum and mean saturated zones. The spatial extension of the shallow karst zone is also evaluated. A coherent conceptual model and the two-dimensional steady-state combined discrete channel and continuum type numerical model of the aquifer has been constructed. The research site is 83 km(2) in area and is underlain by slightly folded layers of Mesozoic limestones and marls. The Bure plateau is dissected by normal faults, which form a succession of elongated horst and graben structures. The main aquifer consists of Maim limestones, with thicknesses varying between zero (eastern border) and 320 m (south-eastern regions). The aquifer is bounded from below by the Oxfordian Marls. The underlying sediments of Middle Jurassic age are considered to be hydraulically independent. The surface topography of the Oxfordian Marls reveals the periclinal termination of a wide anticline over the plateau and a syncline in the southern parts. The aquifer contains three marly intercalations. Tracing experiments prove that marl layers do not act as regional aquicludes. These experiments also allow for the division of the aquifer surface into several water catchments. Based on tracing tests and piezometric data a NW-SE oriented groundwater divide seems to extend in the regions of Porrentruy-Bure-Croix. Calculations of the average (matrix flow) and minimum (conduit flow) water tables indicate an extended shallow karst zone in the region of Boncourt-Buix-St-Dizier. The thickness of the saturated zone increases towards the extremities of the research site, being thickest in the South. The thickness of the unsaturated zone shows a large variation, reaching its maximum in the central areas. Numerical model calculations roughly reproduce the observed hydraulic heads and mean spring discharges, they confirm current ideas about hydraulic parameters and suggest the existence of extended karst subsystems throughout the model domain

Carbon 13 of TDIC to quantify the role of the unsaturated zone: the example of the Vaucluse karst systems (Southeastern France), 2003, Emblanch C, Zuppi Gm, Mudry J, Blavoux B, Batiot C,
The total dissolved inorganic carbon (TDIC) and C-13(TDIC) have been used as chemical and isotopic tracers to evaluate the contribution of different water components discharging at the Fontaine de Vaucluse karst spring near Avignon. At the same time they have been used to separate its flood hydrograph. Waters flowing from unsaturated zone (UZ) and saturated zone (SZ) show similar concentration in TDIC. In UZ and SZ water rock interactions do not obey to the same kinetic. The mixing rate between water coming from the UZ characterised by a short residence time and water from the SZ with a longer residence time has been evaluated in the spring discharge. In a hydrodynamic system, which is rather complex as it is open to the soil CO2 in UZ and closed to the same CO2 in the SZ, C-13(TDIC) has excellent characteristics as an environmental tracer. In order to better describe the inwardness of mass movements within the aquifer, the apparent contrasting information obtained using two different isotopes (O-18 of water molecules and C-13 of TDIC) must be combined. O-18 informs whether the hydrodynamic system acts as piston flow (PF) or follows a well mixing model (WMM). Conversely, C-13 gives more complete information on the UZ contributes to the total discharge. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Composite transfer functions for karst aquifers, 2003, Icjukic V. , Jukic D. ,
Linear transfer functions have been extensively used in hydrological studies. Generally, we support this conclusion: rainfall-runoff models based on the convolution between rainfall rates and a nonparametric transfer function (NTF) are not successful at simulating karst spring discharges during long recession periods. The tails of identified transfer functions have irregular shapes and they are not accurate physical representation of the transport through a karst system. Irregularities are the result of unavoidable errors in input and output time series and simplifications made by considering the system as linear and time invariant. This paper deals with a new form of the transfer functions for karst aquifers, the so-called composite transfer function (CTF). The CTF simulates discharges by two transfer functions adapted for the quick flow and the slow flow hydrograph component modeling. NTF is responsible for the quick flow component. The slow flow component is modeled by a parametric transfer function that is an instantaneous unit hydrograph mathematically formulated and defined from a conceptual model. By using the CTF, the irregular shape of the tail of the identified transfer function can be avoided, and the simulation of long recession periods as well as the simulation of a complete hydrograph becomes more successful. The NTF, the Nash model, the Zoch model and other similar conceptual models can be considered separately as simplified forms of the CTF. The rainfall-runoff model based on the convolution between rainfall rates and the CTF was tested on the Jadro Spring in Croatia. The results of the application are compared with the results obtained by applying NTFs independently. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Can we simulate regional groundwater flow in a karst system using equivalent porous media models? Case study, Barton Springs Edwards aquifer, USA, 2003, Scanlon B. R. , Mace R. E. , Barrett M. E. , Smith B. ,
Various approaches can be used to simulate groundwater flow in karst systems, including equivalent porous media distributed parameter, lumped parameter, and dual porosity approaches, as well as discrete fracture or conduit approaches. The purpose of this study was to evaluate two different equivalent porous media approaches: lumped and distributed parameter, for simulating regional groundwater flow in a karst aquifer and to evaluate the adequacy of these approaches. The models were applied to the Barton Springs Edwards aquifer, Texas. Unique aspects of this study include availability of detailed information on recharge from stream-loss studies and on synoptic water levels, long-term continuous water level monitoring in wells throughout the aquifer, and spring discharge data to compare with simulation results. The MODFLOW code was used for the distributed parameter model. Estimation of hydraulic conductivity distribution was optimized by using a combination of trial and error and automated inverse methods. The lumped parameter model consists of five cells representing each of the watersheds contributing recharge to the aquifer. Transient simulations were conducted using both distributed and lumped parameter models for a 10-yr period (1989-1998). Both distributed and lumped parameter models fairly accurately simulated the temporal variability in spring discharge; therefore, if the objective of the model is to simulate spring discharge, either distributed or lumped parameter approaches can be used. The distributed parameter model generally reproduced the potentiometric surface at different times. The impact of the amount of pumping on a regional scale on spring discharge can be evaluated using a lumped parameter model; however, more detailed evaluation of the effect of pumping on groundwater levels and spring discharge requires a distributed parameter modeling approach. Sensitivity analyses indicated that spring discharge was much more sensitive to variations in recharge than pumpage, indicating that aquifer management should consider enhanced recharge, in addition to conservation measures, to maintain spring flow. This study shows the ability of equivalent porous media models to simulate regional groundwater flow in a highly karstified aquifer, which is important for water resources and groundwater management. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Karst Springs of Alashtar, Iran, 2003, Ahmadipour, Mohamad Reza

Alashtar area is situated in the western part of Iran. The Jurassic Cretaceous dolomitic limestone covers most of the area. There are 5 karstic springs named as Amir, Chenare, Zaz, Honam and Papi. All the springs except the Papi emerge from the Jurassic-Cretaceous limestone.The Papi Spring discharges at the contact of the Jurassic-Cretaceous and the Marly limestone of Eocene age. The springs show variation of discharge during the different periods. Faults and the lineaments are the main avenues for the emergence of the springs. The springs are responsible for the rivers in the plain. The fractures are classified as thrust and normal faults. The faults are mostly formed at the junction of the surrounding carbonate rocks which give a graben structure to the plain. The springs have an important role in recharging the plain. It is due to the fractures and the springs that the plain aquifer has a high potential of water. The discharge of some of the wells is more than 60 l/s.The discharge of the springs varies considerably during the year. Out of these, the Amir , Chenare and Honam springs are considered as permanent springs. The annual discharge of the springs is 111 MCM. The hydrochemical analyses of the springs show that all of them are of carbonate type.


Disaggregation modelling of spring discharges, 2004, Kirilova Bojilova Elena
Disaggregation models are basically divided into three main groups: temporal, spatial and temporal-spatial. The focus of this paper is the application of temporal disaggregation models to disaggregate the seasonal flow in some large time intervals to sub-seasonal flows in some shorter time intervals. Two basic models are applied: the original model of Mejia and Rousselle and the corrected extended Lin model one-stage disaggregation. The flow totals from some karstic springs are used. Data for five springs in different areas of Bulgaria for the aims of the study are executed. The synthetic data generation for the chosen spring stations for a new realisation of thirty years is obtained. The multi-variate lag-one auto regressive model (AR(1) model) is applied for generation of the annual flow sequences. The Lin model single- site is performed for thirty years generation period. The Lin model is an improvement compared to the original extended model. The new Lin approach succeeds in the preservation of the additivity as well as the moments. Applying the Lin model one-stage disaggregation results in consistent model parameter estimates. As a second step in the research multi-site disaggregation schemes are also applied.

Analytical and numerical models to explain steady rates of spring flow, 2004, Swanson S. K. , Bahr J. M. ,
Flow from some springs in former glacial lakebeds of the Upper Midwest is extremely steady throughout the year and does not increase significantly after precipitation events or seasonal recharge. Analytical and simplified numerical models of spring systems were used to determine whether preferential ground water flow through high-permeability features in shallow sandstone aquifers could produce typical values of spring discharge and the unusually steady rates of spring flow. The analytical model is based on a one-dimensional solution for periodic ground water flow. Solutions to this model suggest that it is unlikely that a periodic forcing due to seasonal variations in areal recharge would propagate to springs in a setting where high-permeability features exist. The analytical model shows that the effective length of the aquifer, or the length of flowpaths to a spring, and the total transmissivity of the aquifer have the greatest potential to impact the nature of spring flow in this setting. The numerical models show that high-permeability features can influence the magnitude of spring flow and the results demonstrate that the lengths of ground water flowpaths increase when high-permeability features are explicitly modeled, thus decreasing the likelihood for temporal variations in spring flow

Identification of localised recharge and conduit flow by combined analysis of hydraulic and physico-chemical spring responses (Urenbrunnen, SW-Germany), 2004, Birk S, Liedl R, Sauter M,
Karst aquifers are highly vulnerable to contamination due to the rapid transport of pollutants in conduit systems. Effective strategies for the management and protection of karst aquifers, therefore, require an adequate hydrogeological characterisation of the conduit systems. In particular, the identification and characterisation of conduits transmitting rapid, localised recharge to springs is of great interest for vulnerability assessments. In this work, it is demonstrated that localised recharge and conduit flow in a karst aquifer (Urenbrunnen catchment, southwest Germany) can be characterised by jointly analysing the hydraulic and physico-chemical responses of a spring to recharge events. Conduit volumes are estimated by evaluating time lags between increases in spring discharge and associated changes in the electrical conductivity and temperature of the discharged water. These estimates are confirmed by the results of a combined tracer and recharge test. Variations in electrical conductivity are also shown to assist in the quantification of the fast recharge component associated with short-term recharge pulses. However, spectral analysis of temperature fluctuations reveals that highly mineralised surface waters locally infiltrate into the aquifer during the winter and spring without causing significant electrical conductivity variations in the spring water. Hence, the most consistent conceptual model is obtained by a combined analysis of both physico-chemical parameters. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

A frequency domain approach to groundwater recharge estimation in karst, 2004, Jukic D. , Icjukic V. ,
This paper presents an alternative method for determining the values of parameters of a groundwater recharge model. The phreatic zone of a karst aquifer is considered as the linear and time-invariant filter that transforms the input signal of groundwater recharge rates into the output signal of spring discharges. Similarities between transfer functions of total rainfall rates and transfer functions of groundwater recharge rates are the basis for developing the parametric periodogram depending on parameters of a groundwater recharge model. The values of parameters are estimated by minimizing the differences between the parametric periodogram and a periodogram of spring discharges. The approximate Whittle log likelihood function is the criterion for determining the optimal values of the parameters. By using this frequency domain approach, groundwater-balance calculations are avoided so the method can be applied on unexplored karst aquifers when groundwater-balance cannot be achieved without extensive geologic and hydrogeologic investigations. The results of the applications on two springs located in the Dinaric karst area in Croatia are discussed. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

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