Water losses risk assessment: an example from Carpathian karst

Abstract

The multipurpose dam and reservoir “Bogovina” in the Crni Timok valley is one of several projects that have been initiated to improve water availability in Serbia. The site and height of the dam were initially proposed without consideration of risk factors such as water leakage or stability of the banks. Later, complex hydrogeological and speleological surveys and tests identified the potential of significant water losses from the reservoir area connected mainly to the karstic aquifer, and the nearby Bogovina cave system. The analyses show that once the reservoir is filled up, groundwater flow currently oriented towards the future reservoir would saturate the upper part of the karstified rocks, reactivate currently unsaturated pathways and form a reverse discharge outside of the reservoir area. In response to these findings, the dam design and technical details have been adapted accordingly: the dam height has been reduced by 9 m, and it is proposed that grouting and consolidation work be conducted both at the foundation of the dam and extensively on the embankments. It was concluded that although the proposed remedial measures cannot guarantee reservoir tightness, they can reduce the risk of large-scale leaking.

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Correspondence to Sasa Milanovic.

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Milanovic, S., Stevanovic, Z. & Jemcov, I. Water losses risk assessment: an example from Carpathian karst. Environ Earth Sci 60, 817–827 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-009-0219-x

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Keywords

  • Karst
  • Dam
  • Water losses
  • Risk assessment