Quantifying the integrated water and carbon cycle in a data-limited karst basin using a process-based hydrologic model

  • Han Qiu
  • Jie NiuEmail author
  • Bill X. HuEmail author
Thematic Issue
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Characterization, Modeling, and Remediation of Karst in a Changing Environment


Quantitative estimation of the terrestrial hydrologic fluxes in a karst basin is difficult due to the wide distribution of karst pores, the strong water conductivity of aquifer medium, and the complex groundwater dynamics. In this work, we attempt to estimate the water and carbon budgets of a data scarce karst basin using a process-based hydrological model. Without the knowledge of subsurface structure and rock medium, the karst pipes were simply treated as open channels. The model can generally predict the stream discharge and evapotranspiration, and reproduce the seasonal trend of the gross primary production (GPP) and net primary production (NPP) of the basin, with this simplification. The main hydrologic budgets were estimated and reveal how water partitions in the hydrologic cycle in this karst basin. The simulated results also indicate the main source (either baseflow or surface runoff) of the stream flow in different seasons. However, the simulation of the surface/subsurface hydrologic interactions, groundwater/stream flow exchange, and the vegetation root zone dynamics could be improved if the karst groundwater dynamics, especially for the area with complicated karst pipe system, are depicted in detail.


Karst water cycle Net primary production Process-based hydrologic model Karst basin 



This research was supported by NSF project of Guangdong, China under Contract 2018A030313165, and by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of China under Contract 11618340.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Groundwater and Earth Sciences, Jinan UniversityGuangzhouChina

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