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Absolute gravity monitoring of water storage variation in a karst aquifer on the larzac plateau (Southern France)

Abstract : In this study we attempt to understand the water storage variations in a karst aquifer on the Larzac Plateau (South of France) using absolute gravimetry. On this karst system, water input is exclusively rainfall and draining occurs at the Durzon perennial spring in a karstic valley. Our basis assumption is that water storage in the vadose zone (epikarst and infiltration zone) has a significant effect on surface gravity through Newtonian attraction. The karst aquifer is hence being monitored since January 2006 with monthly absolute gravity measurements at three sites. The gravity measurements are corrected for regional scale gravity using water storage models in order to obtain gravity variations related exclusively to the local water storage variations. The gravity variations exhibit an important seasonal component (10-15 mu gal corresponding to a variation of equivalent water stab thickness of similar to 24-36 cm). Water storage variation seen by gravimetry is not spatially uniform on the studied karst system, corroborating current geomorphologic observations and interpretations. Finally, we use a global mass balance consideration linking rainfall, evapotranspiration and spring discharge to provide a conceptual framework for the understanding of observed gravity variations.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00411884
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Submitted on : Monday, August 31, 2009 - 9:46:33 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 6, 2022 - 4:53:11 PM

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Thomas Jacob, Roger Bayer, Jean Chery, H. Jourde, Nicolas Le Moigne, et al.. Absolute gravity monitoring of water storage variation in a karst aquifer on the larzac plateau (Southern France). Journal of Hydrology, Elsevier, 2008, 359 (1-2), pp.105-117. ⟨10.1016/j.jhydrol.2008.06.020⟩. ⟨hal-00411884⟩

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