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Challenges and Limitations of Karst Aquifer Vulnerability Mapping Based on the PaPRIKa Method—Application to a Large European Karst Aquifer (Fontaine de Vaucluse, France)

1
Avignon Université, UMR EMMAH, 301 rue Baruch de Spinoza, 84916-Avignon, France
2
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, School of Geology, Lab. of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
3
Syndicat mixte du Bassin des Sorgues, La Passerelle, 1 chemin des Palermes, 84320-Entraigues sur la Sorgue, France
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Environments 2019, 6(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6030039
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 14 March 2019 / Accepted: 19 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Quality and Groundwater Vulnerability Assessment)
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Abstract

Aquifer vulnerability maps can improve groundwater management for sustainable anthropogenic development. The latest update of karst aquifer vulnerability mapping is named: the Protection of Aquifers base on Protection, Rock type, Infiltration and KArstification (PaPRIKa). This multi-criteria assessment method is based on a weighting system whose criteria are selected according to the aquifer under study. In this study, the PaPRIKa method has been applied in the Fontaine de Vaucluse karst aquifer using the novel plugin for Quantum Geographic Information System (QGIS) software. The Fontaine de Vaucluse karst aquifer is the largest European karst hydrosystem with a catchment area that measures approximately 1162 km 2 . Four thematic maps were produced according to the criteria of protection, rock type, infiltration, and karst development. The plugin expedites the weighting system test and generates the final vulnerability map. At a large scale the vulnerability map is globally linked with primary geomorphological units and at the local scale is mostly affected by karst features that drive hydrodynamics. In conclusion, the novel QGIS plugin standardizes the application of the PaPRIKa method, saves time and prevents user omissions. The final vulnerability map provides useful contributions that are most relevant to groundwater managers and decision-makers. We highlight the sensibility of the vulnerability map to the weighting system and validation issues of the vulnerability map are raised. View Full-Text
Keywords: karst aquifer; vulnerability; PaPRIKa; QGIS plugin; Fontaine de Vaucluse karst aquifer; vulnerability; PaPRIKa; QGIS plugin; Fontaine de Vaucluse
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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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Ollivier, C.; Chalikakis, K.; Mazzilli, N.; Kazakis, N.; Lecomte, Y.; Danquigny, C.; Emblanch, C. Challenges and Limitations of Karst Aquifer Vulnerability Mapping Based on the PaPRIKa Method—Application to a Large European Karst Aquifer (Fontaine de Vaucluse, France). Environments 2019, 6, 39.

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