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Groundwater resources in Mediterranean karst aquifers; From karstification setting to current functioning illustrated with examples


Dörfliger Nathalie

Facing the scarcity or the overexploitation of the surface water around the Mediterranean Sea, it is necessary, in order to satisfy the increasing water demands, to proceed to a sustainable groundwater management. Mediterranean karstic aquifers are widely presents in the surrounding of Mediterranean Sea; they are reservoirs of groundwater that are largely under exploited and constitute then future groundwater resource. The water management of karstic aquifers request to have good knowledge about the structure and the functioning. Their structure is linked directly to the geological framework, but also to the karstification development. The karstic system genesis along the Mediterranean basin has been strongly influenced by the basis level variations, due to the sea level fluctuations and regional geodynamic events. This is one reason for having coastal karst aquifers with submarine springs as outlets. Studying karst aquifers within their geological and geodynamic sedimentary basin framework allows getting information about the karstification potential development. This is one key of the characterisation of karst aquifers. Mainly features of coastal karst aquifers will be explained in this poster. The second key is the data treatment of rainfall, spring hydrograph, with a set of analytical tools to get knowledge about the functioning and to assess the water resources of karst systems. These methods allow getting information about the presence or not of groundwater resources in the saturated zone, to appreciate the inertia of the system, etc. Inverse modelling can be carried out taking into consideration recharge such as rainfall and also water losses of a river, but also pre-event and event water characterized by natural tracers. Methodology will be illustrated with examples of Mediterranean karst systems in France and abroad, possibly.