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First Steps into an Integrated Karst Aquifer Vulnerability Approach (IKAV). Intrinsic Groundwater Vulnerability Analysis of the Yucatan Karst, Mexico

Research Group INOWAS, Department of Hydrosciences, Technische Universität Dresden, 01069 Dresden, Germany
Erasmus Mundus GroundwatCH Master Study Program, Technische Universität Dresden, 01069 Dresden, Germany
Institute for Groundwater Management, Department of Hydrosciences, Technische Universität Dresden, 01069 Dresden, Germany
Department of Environmental Engineering, Yucatan Autonomous University (Retired), 97203 Merida, Mexico
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(8), 1610;
Received: 27 June 2019 / Revised: 1 August 2019 / Accepted: 1 August 2019 / Published: 2 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessing Surface and Ground- Water Vulnerability and Pollution Risk)
PDF [3755 KB, uploaded 12 August 2019]


Karst groundwater vulnerability maps are important tools for the development of groundwater management and protection strategies. However, current methodologies do not always match regional characteristics and parameter adaptations are necessary. In addition, other important processes such as dilution and aquifer residence time are not included in vulnerability analysis for the complications of evaluating two or more criteria simultaneously. The integrated karst aquifer vulnerability approach (IKAV) project aims to develop an integrated approach to include these parameters and estimate global change implications in current and future scenarios. As a first step, intrinsic vulnerability methodologies are studied in order to highlight important parameters and the congruence with regional characteristics of the Yucatan karst. Results demonstrate agreement between methods for the evaluation of high and very high vulnerabilities and their relation with fissures and dolines. Moderate vulnerabilities are assigned to more than 50% of the area. However, moderate vulnerabilities, assigned to the coastal area and the Southern hill, are highly questionable. Intrinsic features affecting moderate classes vary according to the method. Parameter sensitivity analysis and overlap analysis demonstrate the influence of depth to the unsaturated zone, soils, precipitation, and slope on moderate values. Therefore, such parameters must be re-evaluated and discretized according to the characteristics of the study area to match Yucatan regional characteristics. View Full-Text
Keywords: karst; intrinsic vulnerability; Yucatan; IKAV karst; intrinsic vulnerability; Yucatan; IKAV

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Moreno-Gómez, M.; Martínez-Salvador, C.; Moulahoum, A.-W.; Liedl, R.; Stefan, C.; Pacheco, J. First Steps into an Integrated Karst Aquifer Vulnerability Approach (IKAV). Intrinsic Groundwater Vulnerability Analysis of the Yucatan Karst, Mexico. Water 2019, 11, 1610.

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