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KARSYS, un concept de caractérisation des systèmes karstiques pour une gestion durable des ressources en eau

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Proceedings (peer-reviewed)
Author Vouillamoz Jonathan, Jeannin Pierre Yves, Demary Sabrina, Weber Eric, Malard Arnauld, Eichenberger Urs,
Project SWISSKARST: Towards a sustainable management of karst waters in Switzerland
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Proceedings (peer-reviewed)

Page(s) 475 - 478
Title of proceedings H2Karst, 9th Conference on Limestone Hydrogeology, Besançon (France) 1-4 sep. 2011


Karst groundwater represents about 80% of Swiss groundwater reserves and about 50% of groundwater resources. In Switzerland karst hydrological systems are however badly documented and waters are still moderately used. Climate change, growing water needs for drinking water, agriculture, hydropower generation or geothermal reinforcement greatly increase the pressure on these aquifers. In order to improve their sustainable management the Swiss Institute of Speleology and Karstology (SISKA) is developing a specific method for approaching karst systems in Switzerland as part of the 61th National Research Program. KARSYS (Karst System Characterisation) is being developed in order to provide, as efficiently as possible, a 3D conceptual model of karst hydrological systems, for management and general purposes. This approach is based on a geological model, which is iteratively improved in order to characterize karst groundwater bodies, catchment boundaries, confined and unconfined areas as well as the position of the main underground flowpaths. This method is being applied to all major Swiss springs (~200 systems with Q > 50 L/s) and will provide a consistent basic documentation including maps and 3D views. In some cases the method has also provided a sketch of high water situations, which is a significant understanding concerning natural hazard (floods and landslides). We believe that the KARSYS method is an efficient approach for any karst system. First results are already available on the website.