Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 65, Issue 8, pp 2407–2421 | Cite as

Comparative application of two methods (COP and PaPRIKa) for groundwater vulnerability mapping in Mediterranean karst aquifers (France and Spain)

  • A. I. MarínEmail author
  • N. Dörfliger
  • B. Andreo
Special Issue


A comparative test of two vulnerability mapping methods (COP and PaPRIKa) specifically dedicated to for karst aquifers was carried out on two Mediterranean carbonate aquifers. The vulnerability maps obtained for each aquifer present important differences. To identify and determine the origin of these differences, the results were statistically analyzed using sensitivity analysis, coefficients of determination and scatter graphs. In addition, the global vulnerability (Gv) parameter was used to measure the general vulnerability of the aquifer and to compare the results obtained. This statistical analysis led us to conclude that the main cause of differences between these two methods used to assess aquifer vulnerability lie in the relative importance of the parameters employed in calculating the vulnerability index. For the PaPRIKa method, the variable related to infiltration (slope and karst features) has the most influence, with less weight being assigned to the protective capacity of layers overlying the aquifer. For the COP method, the most influent variable is defined by the layers overlying the aquifer, together with infiltration characteristics, determined by the relative importance of different forms of infiltration in each aquifer. The vulnerability mappings performed using the COP method present greater coherence with the known hydrogeological behavior of the study areas, especially the Spanish aquifers. Nevertheless, further hydrogeological investigations are needed, such as ones to validate the obtained vulnerability maps.


Vulnerability Contamination Carbonate aquifer COP method PaPRIKa method Spain France 



A. I. Marin was supported by the Spanish Teaching Training Programme of the Ministry of Education. This manuscript is a contribution to projects CGL2008-06158 BTE of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Higher Education and IGCP 513 of UNESCO, and to Research Group RNM-308 funded by the Regional Government of Andalusia (Spain).The authors thank the Montpellier Agglomération, Hérault Conseil Général and the BRGM for their financial support as well in the framework of the Lez Multi-user management project.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre of Hydrogeology, Department of GeologyUniversity of Málaga (CEHIUMA)MálagaSpain
  2. 2.Water DivisionBRGMOrléans Cedex 02France

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