Hydraulic parameters and solute velocities in triple-porosity karstic-fissured-porous carbonate aquifers: case studies in southern Poland
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Rock and flow parameters of three karstic-fissured-porous aquifers in the Krakow-Silesian Triassic formations were measured using various methods and compared. Though cavern and fissure porosities are shown to be very low (cavern porosity below 0.5% and fracture porosity below 0.2%), they contribute dominantly to the hydraulic conductivity (from about 1.3×10–6 to about 11×10–6 m/s). Matrix porosity (2–11%) is shown to be the main water reservoir for solute transport and the main or significant contributor to the specific yield (<2%). Though the matrix porosity is shown to be much larger than the sum of the cavern and fissure porosities, its contribution to the total hydraulic conductivity is practically negligible (hydraulic conductivity of the matrix is from about 5×10–11 m/s to about 2×10–8 m/s). On the other hand, the matrix porosity (for neglected cavern and fissure porosities) when combined with tracer ages (or mean travel times) is shown to yield proper values of the hydraulic conductivity (K) by applying the following formula: K≅(matrix porosity×mean travel distance)/(mean hydraulic gradient×mean tracer age). Confirming earlier findings of the authors, this equation is shown to be of great practical importance because matrix porosity is easily measured in the laboratory on rock samples, whereas cavern and fracture porosities usually remain unmeasurable.
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