Characterization of a karst aquifer in the recharge area of Malenščica and Unica springs based on spatial and temporal variations of natural tracersBlaž Kogovšek
, 2022, doctoral dissertation
Abstract: The aim of the present study is to characterize and improve the still insufficient knowledge of the recharge processes that have an important influence on the flow and solute transport in karst aquifers and thus also on the quantity and quality of karst water sources. A binary karst aquifer in the recharge area of the Malenščica and Unica springs, which covers an area of about 820 km2 in SW Slovenia, was selected as the study area.
A dense monitoring network was established at 20 observation points (six springs, four ponors, seven water-active caves and three surface streams) for simultaneous monitoring of the hydrological characteristics and the physicochemical properties of the water, the so-called natural tracers. Data-loggers were installed to measure water pressure, temperature and conductivity. During selected storm events, samples were taken for chemical and microbiological analyses and discharge measurements were made. The meteorological and hydrological data of the Slovenian Environment Agency complemented the extensive dataset.
Collected data allowed the analysis and comparison of the spatial and temporal variations of the natural tracers under different hydrological conditions. Frequent discharge measurements allowed the generation of rating curves and proved to be a crucial element for understanding the hydraulic processes that determine the functioning of this system. The calculation of the water budget allowed an assessment of the proportion of autogenic and allogenic recharge of the springs and a quantitative estimate of autogenic recharge under different hydrological conditions.
The hydrological analysis, i.e. the flow duration curve, the hydrograph separation techniques and the recession analysis, revealed that the Malenščica spring has a higher storage capacity, a greater proportion of autogenic recharge, especially at low-flow, and a slower recession than the Unica spring. This was also confirmed by correlation and spectral analyses, which were also used to investigate the relationships between discharges at ponors and springs. However, the results of the cross-correlation analysis showed hardly any difference between the two springs and in this case proved to be unsuitable for studying the influence of allogenic recharge. Instead, partial cross-correlation analysis was used to control the input parameters of effective precipitation and discharge of one of the sinking streams to determine the contribution of the other sinking stream to the observed spring. The results confirmed differences in allogenic recharge of the Unica and Malenščica springs.
Hysteresis analysis has been applied as a complementary method to time series analysis and represents an improved approach to the characterization of the karst hydrological system. The hydraulic approach to the construction of hysteresis enabled a detailed analysis of allogenic and autogenic water interaction and its influence on the Malenščica and Unica springs under different hydrological conditions. Narrow shapes of the hysteresis indicate a direct hydraulic connection between the ponor and the spring and thus a well-developed drainage system. Any deviation towards a convex or concave shape indicates a less developed, more matrix-related drainage system or the influence of other recharge sources. Analysis of physicochemical hysteretic function of individual locations confirmed the differences in the recharge characteristics of the two springs. Compared to the Unica spring, the Malenščica spring has specific recharge characteristics that result in lower vulnerability to the effects of the sinking streams. A greater proportion of autogenic recharge in the initial phase of the storm event is important, as it allows for a time delay of the possible negative effects of the sinking stream. However, possible pollution from the area of autogenic recharge can have strong negative effects, as in this initial phase with low discharges the dilution effect is negligible.
Keywords: karst aquifer, dynamics of natural tracers, storm events, discharge measurements, time series analysis, hysteresis, Unica spring, Malenščica spring
Published in RUNG: 01.03.2022; Views: 1197; Downloads: 77
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Emerging ecotone and microbial community of a sulfidic spring in the reka River near Škocjanske jame, SloveniaJanez Mulec
, Andreea Oarga-Mulec
, Sara Skok
, Stanka Šebela
, Rosana Cerkvenik
, Tomaž Zorman
, Ladislav Holko
, Tina Eleršek
, Lejla Pašić
, 2021, original scientific article
Keywords: karst, sulfidic spring, geochemical gradient, ecotone, microbial diversity, conservation
Published in RUNG: 10.12.2021; Views: 1043; Downloads: 34
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High spatial heterogeneity of water stress levels in Refošk grapevines cultivated in Classical KarstFrancesco Petruzzellis
, Sara Natale
, Luca Bariviera
, Alberto Calderan
, Alenka Mihelčič
, Jan Reščič
, Paolo Sivilotti
, Katja Šuklje
, Klemen Lisjak
, Andreja Vanzo
, Andrea Nardini
, 2022, original scientific article
Keywords: Classical Karst, water status, drought stress, grape quality, phenolic profile, vitis vinifera
Published in RUNG: 11.11.2021; Views: 1085; Downloads: 0
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Geotourism in Arcos-Pains Karst Region, Minas Gerais, Brazil : dissertationMariana Barbosa Timo
, 2021, doctoral dissertation
Abstract: Knowing the geological evolution of Earth surface allows identifying various natural attractions (biotic and abiotic). It makes possible the use of the most differentiated resources for the practice of tourism. The Arcos-Pains Karst Region has excellent potential for geotourism use. Examples of geosites include the Santuario and Brega Caves, the Dry Valley in the Corumbá region, and the Mastodonte Cave, where fossils of the Haplomastodon waringi mastodon species were found. However, public investment policies aiming at the environmental preservation of this heritage are still minimal or absent. The region also suffers tremendous anthropic pressure due to the extraction and processing of limestone, agribusiness, urban expansion and informal tourism. The process of inventorying and quantifying geosites is an essential tool for defining geoconservation strategies since it is not possible to protect all the geodiversity of the planet. The attributes analysed should integrate several criteria that take into account the intrinsic characteristics of each geosite, its potential use and the level of protection required. Regarding this research, the objective is approaching karst and speleological heritage, intending to define geosites for scientific, educational and tourist use at the Arcos-Pains Karst Region. The purpose of the inventory is to develop a geotourism project that provides essential information for better territorial management. It is also intended to assist environmental agencies in the enterprises’ environmental licensing processes installed in the region. Among the thirty-five (35) sites evaluated, eleven (11) presented above-average use-values in all categories analysed. Also, they presented national relevance and were classified as geosites. In addition to these, another sixteen (16) sites scored sufficiently to be categorised with national relevance. Within the geosites, one (1) was of international relevance: the São Francisco River Canyon. Considering the results, it is essential to deepen the research regarding karst dynamics to equalise geodiversity preservation while allowing its use to benefit society.
Keywords: Geodiversity, Geotourism, Geosites, Arcos-Pains Karst Region, Karst, Speleology
Published in RUNG: 22.10.2021; Views: 1471; Downloads: 146
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Managing karst in Coastal British Columbia, Canada : systems and implementation resultsPaul Andre Griffiths
, 2020, doctoral dissertation
Abstract: This thesis provides a detailed description and analysis of the system used for managing karst in the forests of coastal British Columbia (BC), where the major land- use activity is industrial forestry. In 2004, BC shifted from a more prescriptive forest management model (the Forest Practices Code) to a less regulated, results-based approach based primarily on the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA). The dissertation examines how this results-based management approach for forest resources has worked – or not worked – with respect to karst.
The research focused on the five key realms of an environmental management system as defined by the International Standards Organization (ISO 14001 standard): 1) Legislation and Policy, 2) Planning, 3) Implementation, 4) Checking/Corrective Action, and 5) Management Review. The research also examined the roles of professional reliance (another major foundational element of the FRPA model), karst research, and organizational capacity as external factors which influence on the functioning of the karst management system. A combination of interviews, surveys, document reviews and field observations were used to collect qualitative information relevant to all aspects of the karst management system.
This research reveals inadequacies in all five realms of BC’s current karst management framework, including gaps in legislation, a lack of implementation of existing standards and guidelines, and non-existent effectiveness and compliance monitoring. The results suggest that BC’s shift to ‘self-regulation’ has yielded unsatisfactory results so far for karst resources and has hindered progress toward implementing a fully integrated science-based ecosystem approach to karst management in the study area. Professional reliance failures are identified as one of the key factors contributing to a breakdown of the management system for karst.
This is the first comprehensive study that examines the systems and processes used for managing karst in coastal BC, and consolidates knowledge for government, industry, and others that wish to study or better understand BC’s approach and methods for managing karst. The findings will be useful for private and public forest sector organizations endeavoring to implement fully-functional and effective systems for managing karst in a forestry context. This information may also have more specific applications for managing karst.
Keywords: karst ecosystems, protection and management, legislation, policies, standards and guidelines, environmental degradation, forestry impacts, professional reliance, British Columbia, Canada
Published in RUNG: 02.03.2020; Views: 2840; Downloads: 54
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HOLISTIC GEOMORPHOLOGICAL SPATIAL ANALYSIS OF KARST ON KRK ISLANDEla Šegina
, 2019, doctoral dissertation
Abstract: The intriguing spatial variability of surface features on Krk Island has stimulated the research of this karst area located in the coastal zone of the Dinaric karst in Croatia. Field inspection, ortho-rectified aerial photos (0.5m resolution) and a topographic map (1:5,000) were used for the detection and delineation of detectable karst surface features appearing on the island with the area of 405.5 km². This method resulted in the identification of several yet undefined types of surface features occurring on karst, requiring the revision of the existing classification and re-establishment of a new classification system compatible with the particular field reality. Several morphologic and distributive parameters that had been calculated for each re-classified type of surface feature provided insight into the surface features elementary characteristics, their spatial variability and the correlation to the other types of surface features and to the recent karst relief. This analysis based on a large, accurate dataset, contributed to the general knowledge on karstic surface features, the conditions of surface features in Dinaric karst and to the understanding of the karst surface evolution on Krk Island.
Keywords: karst geomorphology, GIS, spatial analysis, Krk Island, Dinaric karst, Adriatic Sea
Published in RUNG: 13.09.2019; Views: 3643; Downloads: 207
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Regional biodiversity and seasonal dynamics of the bacterial communities in karstic springs of SloveniaMaja Opalički Slabe
, 2019, doctoral dissertation
Abstract: Information on groundwater’s natural bacterial communities is important for evaluating pristine groundwater’s quality, as environmental changes potentially lead to alterations in bacterial community structures. In four seasons, 15 hypothetically pristine springs across five karst eco-regions in Slovenia (Central Europe) were analysed during their low discharge, and their basic physical and chemical parameters were recorded. The diversity of bacterial community structures was assessed with a terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism fingerprinting method. Total cell counts as bacterial abundance and electron transport system activity as bacterial respiratory activity were used for quantitative evaluation of bacterial communities. To detect anthropogenic pollution, spring water was tested by the cultivation of coliform bacteria and Escherichia coli (E. coli).
Results indicate distinct regional differences in environmental parameters, bacterial respiratory activity, presence of coliforms and E. coli, bacterial abundances, and qualitative bacterial community structures, but there were no regional differences in the numbers of operational taxonomic units and biodiversity indices (Shannon-Wiener’s and Simpson’s diversity index, Buzas and Gibson’s evenness). The analysis of seasonal environmental parameters showed significant differences in dissolved organic carbon and pH, and also significant changes in bacterial respiratory activity and abundances, as well as differences in bacterial community structures, the numbers of operational taxonomic units, and biodiversity indices. No seasonal variations were shown for coliforms and E. coli.
Despite seasonal oscillations, regional differences prevailed among five karst eco-regions and indicate a significant influence on the qualitative and quantitative aspects of groundwater bacterial community structures. The study confirmed both regional and seasonal differences in groundwater bacterial community structures, which should be included in further sustainable management plans of the aquifers.
Keywords: karst springs, bacterial community structure (BCS), terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), total cell counts (TCC), electron transport system activity (ETSA)
Published in RUNG: 26.06.2019; Views: 2991; Downloads: 167
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Evaluation of policy and technical factors for the protection of karst aquifersKatarina Kosič Ficco
, 2019, doctoral dissertation
Abstract: Karst aquifer protection remains inchoate. National and international legally-binding mechanisms rarely consider implementation of karst-specific measures for their evaluation and protection. Although developing suitable protection measures for karst aquifers is challenging because their variable character hampers implementation of generalized methods, it is not impossible. As presented in this dissertation, consideration of scientific aspects and inclusion of karst-specific evaluation methods is of great importance. However, the additional inclusion of socio-political aspects is also crucial for advances in karst aquifer protection. Analyses of current European Union and United States of America policies performed in this study have shown that they can provide valuable input regarding the topic. It is also clear that accounting for the interests of affected entities, such as policy-makers, stakeholders and the public, is critical. Satisfying their needs, and assuring their understanding of karst aquifers, can ease and improve implementations of adopted measures. By recognizing these aspects, an interdisciplinary framework for karst aquifer protection was developed, and is presented in this study. The so-called K-framework, developed as a checklist, assures implementation of necessary steps for comprehensive karst aquifer evaluation and management. It further defines how each entity can contribute to the process by providing their knowledge, and allocates responsibilities of each sphere. An important attribute of the proposed framework is that it can be used on varying karst terrains and for various impacts that might threaten karst aquifers. Additionally, it is cost- and time-efficient, while still considering important aspects of karst and insuring the inclusion of important affected parties.
Keywords: aquifer, groundwater, karst, protection, environmental legislation, confined animal feeding operation, vulnerability mapping
Published in RUNG: 17.06.2019; Views: 3151; Downloads: 136
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Speleogenetic factors and processes in the karst conduits of Zagorska Mrežnica Spring Cave (Croatia)Petra Kovač Konrad
, 2018, doctoral dissertation
Abstract: Zagorska Mrežnica spring cave is in the Desmerice village, 7.59 km SW from the town of Ogulin. The coordinates of the entrance are X: 399563 m, Y: 5006974 m, and Z: 314 m (HTRS96). The cave system is positioned in the contact zone of Jurassic limestone and the thrust front composed of Triassic Dolomite. The karst drainage system has elements of point recharge through a set of ponors in the hinterland karst poljes and diffuse infiltration through numerous dolines on Velika Kapela Mountain. The karst of Ogulinsko Zagorje area and its epiphreatic and phreatic cave systems have been intensively explored for the last eight years, resulting in the mapping of 1134 m of submerged passages of the Zagorska Mrežnica spring cave. Until 2014 it was the longest mapped submerged system in Croatia explored by cave diving techniques only. Altogether, over 3.5 km of submerged passages in seven caves of Ogulinsko Zagorje (Zagorska Mrežnica spring cave, Spring of Rupečica, Ponor of Rupečica, Cave system Pećine-Veliko vrelo, Spring of Bistrac, Cave Zagorska Peć and Pit Klisura) were explored during 500 hours of diving over a ten-year period. The goal of the research was to determine speleogenetic factors and processes in phreatic conditions. A new methodology for mapping of cave cross-sections, microrelief forms, and structural elements was developed, sediment and petrographic analysis were done, hydrological analysis before and after the building of the accumulation lake Sabljaci, 48 cross-sections of the cave passaged and a 3D model of the cave system was created, water chemistry as well as geomorphological analysis was carried out. In the end, a simplified (modified) vulnerability assessment was also done.
The results of my research showed that the distribution of the cave passages is a result of complex tectonic activities that are reflected in the orientation of cave passages. The general orientation of the measured fissures, measured during cave diving, show a dominance of a NWW-SEE direction but also the pattern of cave passages shows a significant dominance of the NE-SW orientation indicating the existence of multiple secondary traverse faults originating from main NW-SE faults. The morphology of the cave passages shows a transition between epiphreatic (possibly vadose) and phreatic phases as well as the presence of paragenetic developments in the ceiling. This indicates the existence of several epiphreatic (possibly vadose) and phreatic speleogenetic phases. The initial shape of the cross-sections was identified by sub-horizontal beds and bedding planes. The mapping of microrelief forms showed that the mechanical erosion was a very intensive process shaping the morphology of the cave passages.
The sediment mineralogy coincides with the lithology of the catchment area, and the sub- angular grains reveal relatively short transport distances. Further analysis of the catchment area’s geomorphology and its relevance for the speleogenesis of Zagorska Mrežnica cave show influence of relief structures that have a Dinaric orientation (NW-SE) with cave structures and passage orientations, great relative relief, steep slopes on Velika Kapela, and flat areas of karst poljes dictate the allogenic and autogenic hydrological regime of the cave. A 3D model of the cave system reveals a relationship between the cave system and the landscape, as well as a possible connection with the nearby Zagorska Peć cave. The modified karst vulnerability assessment shows that the catchment area of Zagorska Mrežnica spring cave has a high vulnerability ranking, mainly due to high doline density and the potential large diffuse capacity of infiltration of pollutants.
Keywords: Ogulin Zagorje, karst, spring, speleogenesis, Zagorska Mrežnica spring cave
Published in RUNG: 02.03.2018; Views: 4197; Downloads: 194
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THE INCIDENCE OF NEW ECOSYSTEMS (EE – EMERGING ECOSYSTEMS) IN THE KARST BIOSPHERE RESERVE : GROUP PROJECT, FINAL REPORTKlemen Cotič
, Matej Pogorelc
, Matjaž Reya
, Barbara Šavli
, Nika Feigina
, Merisa Kapić
, Ӧzkan Karaçam
, Mariya Perepelytsya
, 2017, other monographs and other completed works
Abstract: The need of wood for building and heating, the extensive grazing and population growth in the 18th and 19th centuries led to turning the Karst area in Slovenia into a bare land. In the 19th century organised reforestation started which was successfully performed with Black pine (Pinus nigra J. F. Arnold). Later on, the reforestation was replaced by the process of spontaneous afforestation. The successfulness of reforestation with Black pine also made it possible for the native tree species to grow. The abandoning of the use of agricultural land also contributes to the spontaneous afforestation. In this project we determined the changes in forest cover through time. We used aerial photographs from the years 1957, 1975, 1985 and 2015. By drawing polygons on the maps in the QGIS programme on the areas that are covered with forests, are overgrown or are used for agricultural purpose we compared the areas from the maps of different years. We found out that the area covered with forest had increased by more than 50 % from the year 1957 to 2015. The increase in the area of forest cover due to afforestation provides new habitats for fauna and flora to live in.
Keywords: Karst, afforestation, new habitat, Black pine, human impact
Published in RUNG: 07.11.2017; Views: 4204; Downloads: 0
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