Next Article in Journal
Evaluation and Comparison of Daily GPM/TRMM Precipitation Products over the Tianshan Mountains in China
Next Article in Special Issue
Surface Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Monitoring Reveals Karst Unsaturated Zone Recharge Dynamics during a Rain Event
Previous Article in Journal
Artificial Floating Island with Vetiver for Treatment of Arsenic-Contaminated Water: A Real Scale Study in High-Andean Reservoir
Previous Article in Special Issue
Study of Groundwater Flow Properties in a Karst System by Coupled Analysis of Diverse Environmental Tracers and Discharge Dynamics
Article

Evaluation and Quantification of the Effects of Climate and Vegetation Cover Change on Karst Water Sources: Case Studies of Two Springs in South-Western Slovenia

1
Department of Geography, Faculty of Humanities, University of Primorska, SI-6000 Koper, Slovenia
2
ZRC SAZU, Karst Research Institute, SI-6230 Postojna, Slovenia
3
UNESCO Chair on Karst Education, University of Nova Gorica, SI-5271 Vipava, Slovenia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(11), 3087; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113087
Received: 14 October 2020 / Revised: 30 October 2020 / Accepted: 2 November 2020 / Published: 4 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Karstic Hydrogeology)
Karst aquifers hold important water resources such as regional water budgets and freshwater supply. Due to highly dynamic hydrological processes in comparison to other less permeable systems, they are particularly susceptible to environmental changes. However, little research directly characterizes the impacts of climate and vegetation cover changes on karst water sources. In this study, we aimed to evaluate individual long-term impacts and impacts of sudden large-scale forest disturbances on changes in groundwater recharge and in spring discharge. The work is based on temporal analysis of forest cover and a comparison of trend analysis of hydro-meteorological parameters. To investigate and evaluate vegetation cover change impacts on groundwater recharge, we used a soil water balance model and compared estimated actual daily values of effective precipitation to its fictional estimation disregarding the vegetation cover change. The applied methodology enabled quantification of the impacts of climate and vegetation cover change on selected karst water sources. The study suggests that the vegetation cover can have a significant impact on the spring recharge. Large-scale disturbances that occurred in a short-term mitigated the effects expected from the trend analysis of hydro-meteorological parameters. In the long-term, in addition to climate changes, the multi-decadal natural vegetation overgrowth significantly contributed to the reduction in the spring’s discharge values, especially in the warm season when water demand is higher. Therefore, the results are of key importance for developing proper water management and environmental policies. View Full-Text
Keywords: karst aquifer; climate change; vegetation cover change; trend analysis; recharge–discharge; effective precipitation karst aquifer; climate change; vegetation cover change; trend analysis; recharge–discharge; effective precipitation
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Kovačič, G.; Petrič, M.; Ravbar, N. Evaluation and Quantification of the Effects of Climate and Vegetation Cover Change on Karst Water Sources: Case Studies of Two Springs in South-Western Slovenia. Water 2020, 12, 3087. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113087

AMA Style

Kovačič G, Petrič M, Ravbar N. Evaluation and Quantification of the Effects of Climate and Vegetation Cover Change on Karst Water Sources: Case Studies of Two Springs in South-Western Slovenia. Water. 2020; 12(11):3087. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113087

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kovačič, Gregor; Petrič, Metka; Ravbar, Nataša. 2020. "Evaluation and Quantification of the Effects of Climate and Vegetation Cover Change on Karst Water Sources: Case Studies of Two Springs in South-Western Slovenia" Water 12, no. 11: 3087. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113087

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Search more from Scilit
 
Search
Back to TopTop