Prediction of groundwater seepage caused by unclogging of fractures and grout curtain dimensions changes via numerical double-porosity model in the Karun IV River Basin (Iran)

  • Javad AshjariEmail author
  • Fardin Soltani
  • Mohsen Rezai
Original Article


Water tightness of the reservoir is considered not only a common problem; but also it is time-consuming and expensive when constructing a dam. The water seepage of Karun IV was observed at the initial impounding stage. The dam site consists of highly heterogeneous karst terrain. 2D dual-porosity numerical model with the geometry-based finite element is used to investigate the performance of the grout curtain, drainage tunnels, as well as proposed curtain length for seepage control. The model is calibrated before and after impounding for the dam site aquifer, to achieve the best possible fit between the calculated and observed groundwater heads, and variations of the reservoir water level. The obtained hydraulic conductivity of the site has indicated the existence of very high heterogeneity and few conduits coinciding with the faults. The water seepage mainly occurs in the left abutment; the faults which have been centered near the river in the right abutment play a significant role in the water seepage rate as well. The swing of the curtain is crucial to the impervious layers in both horizontal and vertical directions to reduce the seepage. The results have indicated that there may be a conduit(s) which does not coincide with the position of the fault, or reported the opening of core logs, or the water seepage may be due to the improper sealing of the site.


Karst Model Dam Karun IV Iran 


Author contributions

JA: Contributor of the idea to perform a numerical model for a karstic area with complex conditions, presenting software, training it, doing field work. FS: Model researcher. MR: Preparing the data and basic background of model.


  1. Ashjari J, Raeisi E (2006) Influences of anticlinal structure on regional flow, Zagros, Iran. J Cave Karst Stud 68(3):118–129Google Scholar
  2. Borghi A, Renard P, Cornaton F (2016) Can one identify karst conduit networks geometry and properties from hydraulic and tracer test data? Adv Water Resour 90:99–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chen Y, Hu R, Zhou C, Li D, Rong G, Jiang Q (2010) A new classification of seepage control mechanisms in geotechnical engineering. J Rock Mech Geotech Eng 2(3):209–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cheshomi A, Sahbaniya Y, Ashjari J (2014) Assessment of water leakage through the right abutment of the Seymareh dam. Geopersia 4(2):213–225 (Article 8, Summer and Autumn 2014)Google Scholar
  5. Clemens T (1998) Simulation der Entwicklung von Karstaquiferen, PhD thesis, University of Tubingen, Eberhard-Karls-Universit at Tubingen, Germany, p 102Google Scholar
  6. Clemens T, Hückinghaus D, Sauter M, Liedl R, Teutsch G (1996) A combined continuum and discrete network reactive transport model for the simulation of karst development. IAHS Publ 237:309–318Google Scholar
  7. Cornaton F (2007) Ground water: A 3-d ground water and surface water flow, mass transport and heat transfer finite element simulator. Internal report, University of NeuchâtelGoogle Scholar
  8. De Rooij R (2007) Towards improved numerical modeling of karst aquifers: coupling turbulent conduit flow and laminar matrix flow under variably saturated conditions Ph.D. thesis. University of Neuchâtel, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  9. Gelhar LW (1993) Stochastic subsurface hydrology. Prentice-Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs, p 07632Google Scholar
  10. Sohi SMH, Koch M, Ashjari J (2014) Construction effects of the Karun IV Dam, Iran, on the groundwater in the adjacent karstic aquifer. In: ICHE 2014, Hamburg—Lehfeldt & Kopmann (eds)—Bundesanstalt für Wasserbau ISBN 978-.-939230-32-8.Google Scholar
  11. Huckinghaus D (1998) Simulation der Aquifergenese und des Warmetransports in Karstaquiferen, Ph. D. thesis, University of Tubingen, T ubinger Geowissenschaftliche Arbeiten, Reihe C, 42, Tubingen, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  12. Kamali M, Mohammadi Z, Ashjari J (2012) Determination of efficiency of grout curtain of Karun 4’s Dam by dye tracing test. Report to IWPC (Iran Water & Power resources development Company), p 124Google Scholar
  13. Karimi H, Ashjari J (2009) Periodic breakthrough curve of tracer dye in Gelodareh Spring, Zagros, Iran. Cave Karst Sci 36(1):5–10Google Scholar
  14. Kaufman G, Gabrovsek F, Romanov D (2016) Dissolution and precipitation of fractures in soluble rock. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci Discus. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kuniansky EL (2016) Simulating groundwater flow in karst aquifers with distributed parameter models—comparison of porous-equivalent media and hybrid flow approaches: U.S. Geological Survey ScientificInvestigations Report 2016–5116, p 14.
  16. Kuniansky E, Shoemaker W (2008) Usgs releases conduit flow process (cfp) for modflow-2005. In: 2008 Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies with the Gulf Coast Section of SEPMGoogle Scholar
  17. Lang U (1995) Simulation regional Stromungs und Transportvorgange in Karstaquiferen mit Hilfe des Doppelkontinuum-Ansatzes: Methodenentwicklung and Parameterstudie (Simultaion of regional flow and transport processes in karst aquifers by a double-continuum approach: method development and parameter study). Dissertation am Institute fur Wsserbau, Universitat Stuttgart, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  18. Mahab Ghods Consulting Engineering Company (2002) Karun 4 dam project. Final engineering geological report (phase 2)Google Scholar
  19. Masciopinto C, Palmiotta D (2013) Flow and transport in fractured aquifers: new conceptual models based on field measurements. Transp Porous Media 96:117–133. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mohrlok U (1996) Parameter-identifikation in doppel-kontinummodellen am beispiel von karst-aquiferen: Tübingen, Germany, Reihe C. Institut und Museum für Geologie und Paläontologie der Universität Tübingen,Tübinger Geowisenschaftliche Arbeiten, v. 31Google Scholar
  21. Moreno L, Tsang YW, Tsang CF, Hale V, Neretnieks I (1988) Flow and tracer transport in a single fracture: a stochastic model and its relation to some field observations. Water Resour Res 24:2033–2048CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mozafari M, Raeisi E (2015) Understanding Karst Leakage at the Kowsar Dam, Iran, by hydrogeological analysis. Environ Eng Geosci 21(4):325–339. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ptak T, Piepenbrink M, Martac E (2004) Tracer tests for the investigation of heterogeneous porous media and stochastic modelling of flow and transport a review of some recent developments. J Hydrol 294:122163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sauter M (1992) Quantification and forecasting of regional groundwater flow and transport in a karst aquifer (Gallusquelle, Malm, SW Germany), Tübinger Geowiss. Arb. C13, 150 pp., Univ. of Tübingen, Tübingen, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  25. Boroujini BS, Ashjari J, Karimi H (2018) Geological and hydrogeological effective factors in the high permeability zones of dam sites in borehole scale. Case study: Six dam sites of Zagros region, Iran. Accepted to publish in Cave and Karst StudiesGoogle Scholar
  26. Teutsch G (1988) Grundwassermodelle im Karst: Praktische Ansätze am Beispiel zweier Einzugsgebiete im Tiefen und Seichten Malmkarst der Schwäbischen Alb, 205 pp., Ph.D. thesis, Univ. of Tübingen, Tübingen, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  27. Uromeihy A (2000) The Lar Dam; an example of infrastructural development in a geologically active karstic region. J Asian Earth Sci 18:25–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Worthington SRH, Davies GJ, Ford DC (2000) Matrix, fracture and channel components of storage and flow in a Paleozoic limestone aquifer. In: Groundwater flow and contaminant transport in carbonate aquifers. Balkema, Rotterdam, pp 113–128Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Abanrood-Tadbir Consulting CompanyTehranIran
  2. 2.Geoscience DepartmentKharazmi UniversityTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Earth SciencesShiraz UniversityShirazIran

Personalised recommendations