Double-peaked breakthrough curves as a consequence of solute transport through underground lakes: a case study of the Furfooz karst system, Belgium


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September 2017


The existence of double-peaked breakthrough curves (BTC), which are the result of the transport of a dye tracer through underground lakes, is reported. Investigations were undertaken on the Furfooz karst system in southern Belgium. In this system, the River Lesse sinks partially into a swallow hole. The water follows a solitary conduit leading to an underground lake that is directly connected to a second underground lake. Double-peaked BTCs were detected in the resurgent water, downstream of this second lake. The report first describes field data (tracer tests in various hydrologic conditions) which point towards the double peak being linked to a nonlinear process that originates within the lakes. Complementary investigations within the lakes show a complex behavior of the dye tracer related to a specific hydrodynamic feature that leads to the separation of the solute plume. A conceptual model of the solute transport within the lakes is proposed. This model emphasizes the physical effect of the lakes on the dye flow-through process.


Karst, Tracer Tests, Double-Peaked Breakthrough Curve, Underground Lake, Belgium

Document Type



Hydrogeology Journal, Vol. 26, no. 2 (2017-09-26).