The behavior of hydrophobic, organic micropollutants in different Karst water systems


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Publication Date

May 1987


During and after the melting of snow, Karst groundwater of an agriculturally used and a wooded catchment area situated on a Dolomite plateau in Upper Franconia (F.R.G.) were investigated. Seventeen hydrochemical and hydraulic parameters were analyzed in the Karst water of two different springs in the course of the snow melting. Hydrograph analysis and the temporal variation of chloride concentrations were used to distinguish different types of Karst waters reaching the spring. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (benzo(a)pyrene, fluoranthene, benzo(ghi)perylene) and chlorinated pesticides (α-BHC, lindane) are transported in Karst waters adsorbed on suspended solids, dissolved in water and adsorbed on dissolved humic material. Most of the organic contaminants reach the groundwater level with conduit and trickle water. However, BHC-molecules also arrive at the spring with seepage water three weeks after the meltwater input. Using Karst springs as natural lysimeters for their catchment areas, pollutant input-output balances were calculated for PAHs and BHCs revealing that 87.5 to 99.7% of the atmospheric micropollutants released from the snow cover are retained in the Karst system. Potential pollutant sinks are proposed and discussed.


Pahs, Dolomite, Pyrene, Lindane, Fluoranthene

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