Hydrogeologie Characteristics and Deforestation of the Stone Forest Karst Aquifers of South China
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tone forest aquifers comprise an important class of shallow, unconfined karstic aquifers in the south China karst belt. They occur under flat areas such as floors of karst depressions, stream valleys, and karst plains. The frameworks for the aquifers are the undissolved carbonate spires and ribs in epikarst zones developed on carbonate strata. The ground water occurs within clastic sediments which infill the dissolution voids. The aquifers are thin, generally less than 100 meters thick, and are characterized by large lateral permeabilities and small storage. The result is that the aquifers are difficult to manage because recharge during the rainy season moves rapidly out of the aquifers. Water levels fall sharply as the dry season progresses and the ground‐water supply falls off accordingly. The magnitude and duration of the seasonal recharge pulse that replenishes the stone forest aquifers have been severely impacted by massive post‐1958 deforestation in the south China karst region. Water that was formerly retained beyond the wet season in the forested uplands, later to be released to the stone forest aquifers under the lowland plains, now passes quickly through the system during the wet season. The loss of this seasonal upland storage has resulted in both a reduction in the volume of recharge to the lowland stone forest aquifers and a shortening of the seasonal recharge event. The result is accelerated water‐level declines in the stone forest aquifers as the dry season progresses which, in turn, causes premature dewatering of wells and decreased spring discharges. This response is compounded by increased ground‐water withdrawals as the people attempt to offset the declining supply. Management of the total water‐supply system requires not only tinkering with the aquifer, but massive reforestation efforts to restore dry season water retention in the upland parts of the watersheds.
Stone Forest, Aquifers, South China
groundwater, Vol. 30, no. 2 (1992-03-01).
Huntoon, Peter W., "Hydrogeologie Characteristics and Deforestation of the Stone Forest Karst Aquifers of South China" (1992). KIP Articles. 2382.