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Swisskarst project (NRP61): Towards a pragmatic simulation of karst spring discharge with conceptual semi-distributed model. The Flims case study (Eastern Swiss Alps)

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

Page(s) 483 - 486
Title of proceedings H2Karst, 9th Conference on Limestone Hydrogeology, Besançon (France) 1-4 sep. 2011


A hydrological semi-distributed model for simulating karst springs discharge is presented and applied to the Flims case study. This model used for flood prediction and management in river basins has been adapted to karst flow and springs. The model takes into account snowmelt, glacier melt, soil infiltration, vapotranspiration as well as flood routing in surface rivers, sinkholes, and fast and slow flow in underground reservoirs. The Flims karst system is composed of three springs at three different levels: Lag Tiert, Tunnel spring and Pulté spring. In 2002, this system was disturbed by the drilling of a highway tunnel. The model was able to simulate discharge of the three springs as well as the level of the Cauma lake fed by the Pulté spring with encouraging results. They show that the previous model developed between 2006 and 2009 was coherent. This new model has the advantage to simulate natural processes from soil infiltration to outflow at the system springs. It is therefore possible to understand the influence of every process on the spring discharge.