Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/hess-2016-565
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
11 Nov 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper is under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).
Framework for assessing lateral flows and fluxes during floods in a conduit-flow dominated karst system using an inverse diffusive model
Cybèle Cholet1,2, Jean-Baptiste Charlier2, Roger Moussa3, Marc Steinmann1, and Sophie Denimal1 1Chrono-Environnement, UMR 6249 UBFC/CNRS, University of Burgundy Franche-Comté, Besançon, 25000, France
2BRGM, 1039 rue de Pinville, F-34000 Montpellier, France
3INRA, UMR LISAH, 2 Place Pierre Viala, F-34060 Montpellier, France
Abstract. The aim of this study is to present a framework giving new keys to characterize the spatio-temporal variability of lateral exchanges for flows and fluxes in a karst conduit network during flood events. An inverse model using an analytical solution of the diffusive wave model is applied on data from two successive gauging stations to simulate exchange dynamics after recharge. The study site is the karst conduit network of the Fourbanne aquifer in the French Jura Mountains, which includes two reaches of 5–10 km characterizing the network from sinkhole to cave stream, and to the spring. The model is applied after separation of the base and the flood components on discharge and total dissolved solids (TDS) in order to assess lateral flows and mass-fluxes and compare them to help identify water origin. Our results showed various lateral contributions in space – between the two reaches located in the unsaturated (R1), and in both unsaturated and saturated zone (R2) – as well as in time, according to hydrological conditions. Globally, the two reaches show a distinct response to flood routing, with important lateral inflows on R1 and large outflows on R2. By combining these results with mass flux exchanges and the analysis of flood routing parameters distribution, we showed that lateral inflows on R1 are the addition of diffuse infiltration (observed whatever the hydrological conditions) and localized infiltration in the secondary conduit network (tributaries) in the unsaturated zone, except in extreme dry periods. On R2, despite inflows on the base component, lateral outflows are observed during floods. This pattern was attributed to the concept of reversal flows of conduit/matrix exchanges, inducing a complex water mixing effect in the saturated zone. From our results we build the functional scheme of the karst system. It demonstrates the impact of the saturated zone on matrix/conduit exchanges in this shallow phreatic aquifer, and highlights the important role of the unsaturated zone on storage and transfer functions of the system.

Citation: Cholet, C., Charlier, J.-B., Moussa, R., Steinmann, M., and Denimal, S.: Framework for assessing lateral flows and fluxes during floods in a conduit-flow dominated karst system using an inverse diffusive model, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/hess-2016-565, in review, 2016.
Cybèle Cholet et al.
Cybèle Cholet et al.
Cybèle Cholet et al.

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Short summary
This paper aims at improving the understanding of hydrological functioning of karst aquifer, which remains a great challenge due to its complex nature. An original framework is proposed to identify and quantify the spatio-temporal variability of lateral exchanges along a karst conduit network during flood events. An inverse modeling approach coupling water flow and mass flux is applied on the experimental data set and give new insights on the hydrogeological behavior of such complex systems.
This paper aims at improving the understanding of hydrological functioning of karst aquifer,...
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