Dynamics and contribution of karst groundwater to surface flow during Mediterranean flood
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This paper describes the role of groundwater contribution to surface flow at the Causse d’Aumelas, a karst system near Montpellier (France), which is traversed by an intermittent river, the Coulazou. A first hydrologic model integrating a digital terrain model shows the inability of a standard rainfall-runoff model to replicate recorded flood hydrographs. While the flood peaks are routed through the karstic system along the Coulazou without a phase lag, the peak magnitude is somewhat modified. These results indicate an initial karst system recharge followed by a significant contribution to surface flow. A hydrodynamic analysis of ground-water flow confirms these results: the karst system first absorbs part of the rainfall, which induces a general water table rise within the aquifer, and then contributes to surface flow in the Coulazou.
KeywordsFlash flood Karst watershed Groundwater contribution Hydrodynamic analysis Flood modelling Mediterranean France
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