Sustainable groundwater production from karstic aquifers is primarily dictated by its recharge rate. Therefore, in order to limit over-exploitation, it is essential to accurately quantify groundwater recharge. Infiltration during erratic floods in karstic basins may contribute substantial amount to aquifer recharge. However, the complicated nature of karst systems, which are characterized in part by multiple springs, sinkholes, and losing/gaining streams, present a large obstacle to accurately assess the actual contribution of flood water to groundwater recharge. In this study, we aim to quantify the proportion of groundwater recharge during flood events in relation to the annual recharge for karst aquifers. The role of karst conduits on flash flood infiltration was examined during four flood and artificial runoff events in the Sorek creek near Jerusalem, Israel. The events were monitored in short time steps (four minutes). This high resolution analysis is essential to accurately estimating surface flow volumes, which are of particular importance in arid and semi-arid climate where ephemeral flows may provide a substantial contribution to the groundwater reservoirs. For the present investigation, we distinguished between direct infiltration, percolation through karst conduits and diffused infiltration, which is most affected by evapotranspiration. A water balance was then calculated for the 2014/15 hydrologic year using the Hydrologic Engineering Center - Hydrologic Modelling System (HEC-HMS). Simulations show that an additional 8% to 24% of the annual recharge volume is added from runoff losses along the creek that infiltrate through the karst system into the aquifer. The results improve the understanding of recharge processes and support the use of the proposed methodology for quantifying groundwater recharge.
|Original language||English GB|
|State||Published - 1 Dec 2017|
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