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Multicriterial approach to the determination of buffer zones for the Moravian Karst protected landscape area in the Czech Republic


Allogenic recharge is an important source of pollution affecting karst protected terrains. In order to prevent the introduction of contaminants and the deterioration of karst phenomena, it is necessary to determine buffer zones that require protection, which is sometimes difficult, especially in densely populated areas. A multicriterial approach for the determination of buffer zones was proposed and verified. The method combines two criteria to identify those watercourses whose catchments lying outside the protected area need to be protected, namely the water quality index and the mass flow of pollutants. The case study was performed in the Moravian Karst (Czech Republic), which is fed by more than 10 small allogenic watercourses. The study proved that not only water quality, but also mass flow of pollutants conditioned by watercourse discharge must be considered. This approach can be adapted for all types of protected landscape areas with water pollution originating in surrounding areas.

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Data Availability

The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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This study was funded by Internal project of Brno University of Technology, grant No. 2112 – Institutional support for the development of a research organization.


This study was funded by Internal project of Brno University of Technology, grant No. 2112 – Institutional support for the development of a research organization.

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Correspondence to Jitka Malá.

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Malá, J., Hrich, K., Vaculíková, K. et al. Multicriterial approach to the determination of buffer zones for the Moravian Karst protected landscape area in the Czech Republic. Environ Monit Assess 194, 103 (2022).

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  • Allogenic watercourses
  • Karst protection
  • Mass flow of pollutants
  • Nutrients
  • Organic pollution
  • Water quality index