RObust Conceptualisation of KArst Transport

This research project aims to develop a coupled robust conceptualization of discharge and transport in karst systems based on the representation of the hydrological processes in the different karst compartments, i.e. epikarst, matrix and conduit system.

Hydrologic models are used as important tools to investigate, predict and sustainably manage karst water resources. Conceptual bucket models are widely used to predict spring discharge in karstic watersheds, while solute transport modelling remains challenging due to the underlying karst complexity.

The main scientific objectives of this project are:

- To develop lumped bucket models with different levels of complexity to reproduce the dominant solute transport processes in the different compartments of karst systems. The solute transport routines will be combined with existing discharge models, i.e. LuKARS and KarstMode, and validate for multiple karst systems.

- To perform the calibration and validation of the hydrological karst models based on the discrete wavelet decomposition (multi-temporal scale calibration), of both discharge and hydrogeochemical signals (multi-objective calibration).

- Using the experimental results of tailored event-based sampling campaigns, to decompose time series of electrical conductivity with a high temporal resolution into the major ion concentrations to determine relevant factors affecting transport processes in the different parts of karstic systems.

- To create an applicable modelling toolbox as a graphical user interface (GUI) for all the developed tools.

Project duration: April 2021 - March 2024
Project funding: German Research Foundation (DFG)
Project management: Prof. Dr. Gabriele Chiogna, Prof. Dr. Andreas Hartmann