Special Issue "Groundwater Modelling in Karst Areas"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Hydrology and Hydrogeology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Fulvio Celico
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dept. of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, University of Parma, Parma, Italy
Interests: hydrogeological behaviour of karst; fissured and porous aquifers and aquitards; surface-groundwater interactions; seawater intrusion; hydrogeomicrobiology; contaminant transport and remediation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Alessandra Feo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Università degli Studi di Parma, Parma, Italy
Interests: mathematical modeling, numerical simulations of fluid dynamics and transport equations; sensitivity analysis; karst aquifer
Dr. Emma Petrella
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Università degli Studi di Parma, Parma, Italy
Interests: hydrogeology; recharge and flow processes; karst aquifer; groundwater protection; multidisciplinary approach
Prof. Dr. Andrea Zanini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering and Architecture, University of Parma, Parma, Italy
Interests: water resources; groundwater hydraulics; groundwater modelling; stochastic modelling; inverse problems; solute transport
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue focuses on recent advances and future developments in the modeling (both conceptual and numerical) of flow and transport in karst aquifers. This includes but is not limited to: saturated/unsaturated flow, seawater intrusion, contaminant transport, and chemical and biological processes.

We encourage the submission of all modeling steps, such as: data collection, analysis of flow and transport processes from field and laboratory investigations (with enphasis on multidisciplinary approaches), development of numerical methods, calibration, parameter estimation, validation, and sensitivity anslysis. The list is by no means exhaustive.

Our aim is for this Special Issue of Water to help readers to understand flow and transport processes in karst areas.

Prof. Fulvio Celico
Dr. Alessandra Feo
Dr. Emma Petrella
Dr. Andrea Zanini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Karst aquifer;
  • Groundwater;
  • Hydrogeology;
  • Water resources;
  • Conceptual and mathematical modeling;
  • Inverse modeling and parameter estimation;
  • Sensitivity and uncertainty analysis;
  • Groundwater monitoring;
  • Seawater intrusion.

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Groundwater Modelling in Karst Areas
Water 2021, 13(6), 854; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060854 - 20 Mar 2021
Viewed by 559
Abstract
This Special Issue focuses on recent advances and future developments in the modeling (both conceptual and numerical) of flow and transport in karst aquifers [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Modelling in Karst Areas)

Research

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Article
Testing Evapotranspiration Estimates Based on MODIS Satellite Data in the Assessment of the Groundwater Recharge of Karst Aquifers in Southern Italy
Water 2021, 13(2), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020118 - 06 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 771
Abstract
In many Italian regions, and particularly in southern Italy, karst aquifers are the main sources of drinking water and play a crucial role in the socio-economic development of the territory. Hence, estimating the groundwater recharge of these aquifers is a fundamental task for [...] Read more.
In many Italian regions, and particularly in southern Italy, karst aquifers are the main sources of drinking water and play a crucial role in the socio-economic development of the territory. Hence, estimating the groundwater recharge of these aquifers is a fundamental task for the proper management of water resources, while also considering the impacts of climate changes. In the southern Apennines, the assessment of hydrological parameters that is needed for the estimation of groundwater recharge is a challenging issue, especially for the spatial and temporal inhomogeneity of networks of rain and air temperature stations, as well as the variable geomorphological features and land use across mountainous karst areas. In such a framework, the integration of terrestrial and remotely sensed data is a promising approach to limit these uncertainties. In this research, estimations of actual evapotranspiration and groundwater recharge using remotely sensed data gathered by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) satellite in the period 2000–2014 are shown for karst aquifers of the southern Apennines. To assess the uncertainties affecting conventional methods based on empirical formulas, the values estimated by the MODIS dataset were compared with those calculated by Coutagne, Turc, and Thornthwaite classical empirical formulas, which were based on the recordings of meteorological stations. The annual rainfall time series of 266 rain gauges and 150 air temperature stations, recorded using meteorological networks managed by public agencies in the period 2000–2014, were considered for reconstructing the regional distributed models of actual evapotranspiration (AET) and groundwater recharge. Considering the MODIS AET, the mean annual groundwater recharge for karst aquifers was estimated to be about 448 mm·year−1. In contrast, using the Turc, Coutagne, and Thornthwaite methods, it was estimated as being 494, 533, and 437 mm·year−1, respectively. The obtained results open a new methodological perspective for the assessment of the groundwater recharge of karst aquifers at the regional and mean annual scales, allowing for limiting uncertainties and taking into account a spatial resolution greater than that of the existing meteorological networks. Among the most relevant results obtained via the comparison of classical approaches used for estimating evapotranspiration is the good matching of the actual evapotranspiration estimated using MODIS data with the potential evapotranspiration estimated using the Thornthwaite formula. This result was considered linked to the availability of soil moisture for the evapotranspiration demand due to the relevant precipitation in the area, the general occurrence of soils covering karst aquifers, and the dense vegetation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Modelling in Karst Areas)
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Article
Taking into Account both Explicit Conduits and the Unsaturated Zone in Karst Reservoir Hybrid Models: Impact on the Outlet Hydrograph
Water 2020, 12(11), 3221; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113221 - 17 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 628
Abstract
The main outlets of karst systems are springs, the hydrographs of which are largely affected by flow processes in the unsaturated zone. These processes differ between the epikarst and transmission zone on the one hand and the matrix and conduit on the other [...] Read more.
The main outlets of karst systems are springs, the hydrographs of which are largely affected by flow processes in the unsaturated zone. These processes differ between the epikarst and transmission zone on the one hand and the matrix and conduit on the other hand. However, numerical models rarely consider the unsaturated zone, let alone distinguishing its subsystems. Likewise, few models represent conduits through a second medium, and even fewer do this explicitly with discrete features. This paper focuses on the interest of hybrid models that take into account both unsaturated subsystems and discrete conduits to simulate the reservoir-scale response, especially the outlet hydrograph. In a synthetic karst aquifer model, we performed simulations for several parameter sets and showed the ability of hybrid models to simulate the overall response of complex karst aquifers. Varying parameters affect the pathway distribution and transit times, which results in a large variety of hydrograph shapes. We propose a classification of hydrographs and selected characteristics, which proves useful for analysing the results. The relationships between model parameters and hydrograph characteristics are not all linear; some of them have local extrema or threshold limits. The numerous simulations help to assess the sensitivity of hydrograph characteristics to the different parameters and, conversely, to identify the key parameters which can be manipulated to enhance the modelling of field cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Modelling in Karst Areas)
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Article
Modeling the Matrix-Conduit Exchanges in Both the Epikarst and the Transmission Zone of Karst Systems
Water 2020, 12(11), 3219; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113219 - 17 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 741
Abstract
Usual conceptual models of karst hydrodynamics highlight the important role of unsaturated subsystems in recharge repartition. However, few of them have been compared with scarce suitable physically-based numerical models. Hybrid models that couple single continuum medium with discrete features promise an improved consideration [...] Read more.
Usual conceptual models of karst hydrodynamics highlight the important role of unsaturated subsystems in recharge repartition. However, few of them have been compared with scarce suitable physically-based numerical models. Hybrid models that couple single continuum medium with discrete features promise an improved consideration of karst specificities. Here we evaluate their capability to properly reproduce interactions between a vertical conduit and the surrounding unsaturated matrix. We simulate the response of such a configuration to a single recharge event for various sets of parameters. We show the ability of hybrid models to reproduce the most significant behaviors described in the literature, i.e., transient storage and distribution of recharge, flow concentration towards conduits in the epikarst, and matrix-conduit exchanges varying in time and space. In addition to the explicit conduits, simulating variably saturated flows with the Richards equation and distinguishing the epikarst and the transmission zone are key elements to reproduce most processes. The contrasts between subsystems necessary to observe desired behaviors have been quantified. They are reinforced by the varying matrix saturation that causes realistic competition between matrix and explicit conduits. The study also highlights the need to deepen knowledge of the scaled medium properties we need to know to apply such models to actual cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Modelling in Karst Areas)
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Article
Using Stable Isotope Analysis (δD and δ18O) and Tracing Tests to Characterize the Regional Hydrogeological Characteristics of Kazeroon County, Iran
Water 2020, 12(9), 2487; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092487 - 05 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 731
Abstract
Unpredictable climate changes are affecting water resources, especially in karst arid and semiarid areas. In such locations, the need for additional sources of water always arises. The paper gives insight into hydrogeological characteristics of Kazeroo County and resolves some unknowns around the catchment [...] Read more.
Unpredictable climate changes are affecting water resources, especially in karst arid and semiarid areas. In such locations, the need for additional sources of water always arises. The paper gives insight into hydrogeological characteristics of Kazeroo County and resolves some unknowns around the catchment area of the springs important for water supply of the wider urban area of the city of Kazeroon, Iran, by using stable isotope analysis (δD and δ18O) and tracer test. Multiple tracer test and stable isotope analysis were conducted for research purposes. The uranine injected at Tale Milek 1 borehole was detected in the Chenar Shahijan spring in less than 2 and in the Seyed Hossein spring after 6 days. Small amounts of uranine were detected in the Sasan and Pirsabz springs. Based on the high apparent flow velocity (approximately 1750–2000 m/day), the underground system has a quick response to the precipitation during dry seasons. The assumed hydraulic connection between Shahneshin North (Asmari) and Dashtak Northzones has been confirmed by tracer test since the dye injected in Northern Asmari Shahneshin anticline appeared in the springs in Dashtak North zone. The results of water stable isotope measurements show that the catchment area of karst springs in the vicinity of Kazeroo is probably over 2000 m at the area of Shahneshin anticline and is positioned lower than the catchment area of Arjan spring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Modelling in Karst Areas)
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Article
Mapping of Groundwater Spring Potential in Karst Aquifer System Using Novel Ensemble Bivariate and Multivariate Models
Water 2020, 12(4), 985; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12040985 - 31 Mar 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 1594
Abstract
Groundwater is an important natural resource in arid and semi-arid environments, where discharge from karst springs is utilized as the principal water supply for human use. The occurrence of karst springs over large areas is often poorly documented, and interpolation strategies are often [...] Read more.
Groundwater is an important natural resource in arid and semi-arid environments, where discharge from karst springs is utilized as the principal water supply for human use. The occurrence of karst springs over large areas is often poorly documented, and interpolation strategies are often utilized to map the distribution and discharge potential of springs. This study develops a novel method to delineate karst spring zones on the basis of various hydrogeological factors. A case study of the Bojnourd Region, Iran, where spring discharge measurements are available for 359 sites, is used to demonstrate application of the new approach. Spatial mapping is achieved using ensemble modelling, which is based on certainty factors (CF) and logistic regression (LR). Maps of the CF and LR components of groundwater potential were generated individually, and then, combined to prepare an ensemble map of the study area. The accuracy (A) of the ensemble map was then assessed using area under the receiver operating characteristic curve. Results of this analysis show that LR (A = 78%) outperformed CF (A = 67%) in terms of the comparison between model predictions and known occurrences of karst springs (i.e., calibration data). However, combining the CF and LR results through ensemble modelling produced superior accuracy (A = 85%) in terms of spring potential mapping. By combining CF and LR statistical models through ensemble modelling, weaknesses in CF and LR methods are offset, and therefore, we recommend this ensemble approach for similar karst mapping projects. The methodology developed here offers an efficient method for assessing spring discharge and karst spring potentials over regional scales. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Modelling in Karst Areas)
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Article
Analysis of the Saltwater Wedge in a Coastal Karst Aquifer with a Double Conduit Network, Numerical Simulations and Sensitivity Analysis
Water 2019, 11(11), 2311; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11112311 - 05 Nov 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 818
Abstract
We investigate the long-distance salinity in a dual permeability coastal karst aquifer with a double conduit network using a three-dimensional variable-density groundwater flow and multispecies transport SEAWAT model. Sensitivity analyses were used to evaluate the impact of the parameters and boundary conditions on [...] Read more.
We investigate the long-distance salinity in a dual permeability coastal karst aquifer with a double conduit network using a three-dimensional variable-density groundwater flow and multispecies transport SEAWAT model. Sensitivity analyses were used to evaluate the impact of the parameters and boundary conditions on the modeling saltwater wedge in a karstic aquifer situated in the Cuban land territory, including hydraulic conductivity, vertical anisotropy and salinity concentration; both in the conduits network and the fractured medium. These analyses indicated that hydraulic conductivity of the fractured medium and salt concentration were the ones that have a stronger effect on saltwater intrusion in a karstic aquifer. We also show results of the three-dimensional numerical simulations on groundwater salinity for different scenarios with the variabilities of the important parameters and compare results with electric conductivity profiles measured in a well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Modelling in Karst Areas)
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