Vulnerability to Contamination of Karst Aquifers


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Karst Aquifers—Characterization and Engineering


The karst aquifers are especially vulnerable to pollution due to their hydrologic behavior derived from karstification. The vulnerability mapping is one of the most applied tools to protect them. There are a wide range of methodologies for vulnerability mapping that have been developed for karst aquifer, to consider the specific characteristics of karst into the vulnerability assessment, such as EPIK, PI, COP, Slovene Approach, and PaPRIKa, among others. The vulnerability map can help to the water stakeholder for making decision and to promote a land-use management compatible with the water protection. So the maps should have reliable accuracy. Many works highlight that the maps of groundwater contamination vulnerability obtained by the different methods differ significantly, although they were all obtained by methods developed for karst aquifers, even if they are obtained from the same sources of information and applied by the same person. So, the validation is an essential element of any contamination vulnerability assessment. The current challenge of researchers is to obtain versatile and easy to apply methods to test and validate vulnerability maps.

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