Use of Total Organic Carbon (toc) as Tracer of Diffuse Infiltration in a Dolomitic Karstic System: the Nerja Cave (andalusia, Southern Spain)

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Geophysical Research Letter


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[1] Recent studies in several karstic systems in France have highlighted that Total Organic Carbon (TOC) was a relevant parameter in order to characterise the behaviour of aquifers, to differentiate the water types that participate in karstic flow (fast infiltration, unsaturated zone, saturated zone) and to evaluate their vulnerability. This study on TOC dynamics at the experimental site of the Nerja Cave has been performed to test the potential of this tracer in a particular climatic (Mediterranean climate), lithologic (dolomitic marbles) and hydrodynamic (diffuse flow behaviour) context. TOC evolution, compared to those of classical tracers used in hydrogeology, permits the understanding of the hydrodynamical behaviour of the unsaturated zone of this dolomitic aquifer, whose response to precipitation is slower than that commonly obtained in karstic aquifers of calcareous nature.

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