Time Lag Analysis of Natural Responses During Unitary Recharge Events to Assess the Functioning of Carbonate Aquifers in Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park (Southern Spain)


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EuroKarst 2016, Neuchâtel


Analysis of natural responses of karst springs (discharge, temperature and electrical conductivity) provides reliable information on dynamics of karst aquifers. Quantitative evaluation of response times can be used to understand and characterize the factors responsible for modelling and transferring of input signal (rainfall) to different output signals of the aquifer (springs). In the present study, continuous (hourly) monitoring data of four karst springs located in Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park (Southern Spain) have been compared in order to evaluate time lags between storm event and spring responses, as well as the hydrogeological functioning of the respective systems. Results show significant differences in time lags (14–167 h) as well as non-simultaneous responses of discharge, electrical conductivity (EC) and temperature (T) to the same recharge events. Time lags between the gravity centre of each rain storm and its effect on the EC, T and discharge of the spring water seem to be more dependent on factors such as the system karst development, the flow rate at the spring or the recharge conditions (land use, soil cover, elevation) than to the magnitude of the precipitation itself.

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