Modeling the groundwater recharge in karst aquifers by using a reservoir model

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

The estimation of the groundwater recharge in a karstic system becomes an important challenge due to the great hydrodynamic variability in both time and space. This paper proposes a two reservoir conceptual model to simulate inflow into both the conduit system and the fissure network system based on the analysis of the spring hydrograph. The structure of the model and the governing equations are proposed on the basis of the physical considerations, with the assumption that flow at the outlet of the reservoirs obeys a linear threshold function. The model is applied on the Houzhai karstic underground river basin where it successfully reflects the temporal recharge distribution. The simulated accumulation recharge is 34.29 mm, which is reasonable in relation to the actual rainfall of 92.8 mm. The variations of water volume in two reservoirs represent the storage and transform characteristics of the karst aquifer system. However, this model is particularly well suited to simulate the recharge event after intensive rainfall.

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