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Karstification and Groundwater Flow

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Author(s): Kiraly,L.

Journal: Speleogenesis and Evolution of Karst Aquifers
ISSN 1814-294X

Volume: 1;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 3244;
Date: 2003;
Original page

Keywords: karst hydrogeology | karst aquifers | numerical modelling of karst flow | spring hydrographs

ABSTRACT
One of the principal aims of hydrogeology is to propose a reasonably adequate reconstruction of the groundwater flow field, in space and in time, for a given aquifer. For example, interpretation of the chemical and isotopic composition of groundwater, understanding of the geothermal conditions (anomalies) or forecasting the possible effects of industrial waste disposals and of intensive exploitation nearly always would require the knowledge of the regional and/or local groundwater flow systems such as defined by Toth (1963). The problem of estimating the groundwater flow field in fractured and karstified aquifers is approached within the framework of a conceptual diagram showing the relationship between groundwater flow, hydraulic parameters (aquifer properties and boundary conditions), distribution of voids and geological factors. Autoregulation between groundwater flow and karst aquifer properties, duality of karst, nested model of geological discontinuities, scale effect on hydraulic parameters and use of numerical finite element models to check the interpretation of the global response of karst springs are some of the subjects addressed by the author. Inferences on groundwater flow regime with respect to the stage of karst evolution can be made only if the hydraulic parameter fields and the boundary conditions are known by direct observations, or estimated by indirect methods for the different types of karst. Practical considerations on the monitoring strategies applied for karst aquifers, and on the interpretation of the global response obtained at karst springs will complete the paper, which throughout reflects the point of view of a hydrogeologist.

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