Transmissive and Capacitive Behavior of the Unsaturated Zone in Devonian Limestones, Implications for the Functioning of the Epikarstic Aquifer: An Introduction
The hydrogeological behavior of the unsaturated zone in karst limestones is far to be completely understood. However, this part of aquifer systems is the most important for the vulnerability of drinking water resources. In Wallonia, the majority of tap water is provided by Devonian and Carboniferous limestones, which consist of highly karstified and fractured formations. The purpose of this research was to apply an experimental approach in order to assess the functioning of the unsaturated part of karst systems. We choose to follow two drip sites within the Han-sur-Lesse cave system (Rochefort, Belgium), the actual dataset covers the 2008–2013 period and the recording device is still active. We also conduct dye tracer experiment (uranin) from the surface with a fluorometer into the cave coupled with a drip collector. In this paper, we present the contextualization of the study site, the experimental methodology, and the first results.
KeywordsUnsaturated Zone Vadose Zone Karst Aquifer Tracer Experiment Cave System
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