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Featured article from geoscience journal

Hydrogeology Journal, 2011, Vol 19, Issue 2, p. 339-353
PaPRIKa: a method for estimating karst resource and source vulnerability—application to the Ouysse karst system (southwest France)

The intrinsic vulnerability mapping method, PaPRIKa, is proposed as a common basis for karst groundwater protection in France. PaPRIKa is a specialized method for studying karst aquifers, derived from updating the RISKE and EPIK methods. Both the structure and functioning of karst aquifers are considered in order to develop a resource and source-vulnerability mapping method. PaPRIKa means Protection of aquifers from the assessment of four criteria: P for protection (considering the most protective aspects among parameters related to soil cover, unsaturated zone and epikarst behavior), R for rock type, I for infiltration and Ka for karstification degree. The Ouysse karst system, located in the Causses area in southwest France, is one of the nine pilot sites where this method was tested and standardized. The specificities of the Ouysse system such as the size of the catchment area, the spatial variability of the karst network development, the thick infiltration zone and the system’s dual character (both karst and non-karst areas), have provided a valuable field of application. The vulnerability of the resource was assessed for the entire catchment area, while source-orientated cartography was attempted for the catchment areas of the three different capture works used for drinking water.