Flow dynamics in a karst aquifer studied by means of natural and artificial tracers: a case study of the Malenščica and Unica karst Springs
AbstractThe Malenščica and Unica karst Springs on the southern edge of Planinsko Polje are recharged from a complex karst system that is characterised by interchange between surface and subsurface flow. For periods of two hydrological years from 2007 to 2009 and one hydrological year from 2013 to 2014, selected physical properties of water (precipitation, water level and discharge, temperature, electrical conductivity - EC) were measured at various sites of the system. Time series data were elaborated using various methods. First, the characteristic values of measured parameters were compared, then an alternative method was employed to evaluate the measurement results using the frequency distribution diagram of long-term EC data sets. The temporal variations of EC in various hydrological conditions were analysed and apparent groundwater flow velocities were assessed on the basis of the time lags between the peaks (maximums) or troughs (minimums) of the EC curves of the sinking streams and Springs. The aim of the study was to understand the relationships between different parts of the recharge area and their changing contributions to the Springs in various hydrological conditions. The results, which were validated by the findings of previous tracer tests using artificial tracers, indicate that the use of selected natural tracers provides a comprehensive understanding of the functioning of karst aquifers.
How to Cite
Petrič, M. (2017). Flow dynamics in a karst aquifer studied by means of natural and artificial tracers: a case study of the Malenščica and Unica karst Springs. Geologija, 60(2), 211–221. https://doi.org/10.5474/geologija.2017.015