A possible way of tracing groundwater flows in karst
Journal name: Geophysical Prospecting
Issue: Vol 17, No 4, December 1969 pp. 404 - 418
Info: Article, PDF ( 895.69Kb )
In designing as well as in the construction of hydro-electric power plants and water-supply projects in karst, the knowledge of the location of groundwater flows is invaluable. Attempts made so far in this direction have not produced the desired results and all the methods known so far have shown to be more or less ineffective, especially with respect to deep-seated underground flows.
An interesting suggestion on the possible determination of the groundwater flow location by using a specific geophysical prospecting procedure is based on the studies and knowledge of groundwater flows in the karstland of Yugoslavia. The procedure is as follows: a time-bomb thrown down a swallow-hole travels down to the groundwater flow and explodes at a predetermined moment. Elastic waves generated by the explosion propagate reaching the surface, where they are detected by properly arranged geophones that are connected with a standard seismic apparatus. By a specific graphical or arithmetical method the coordinates of the epicentre and hypocentre of the underground explosion can be worked out, and thus the location of the groundwater flow determined. By successive repetition of the experiment, i.e. by different time activation of underground explosion of the time-bomb, the location of the groundwater flow can be defined over longer paths.
The success of the experiment depends upon a number of factors all of which must be met. If only one of them is overlooked, the experiment will not succeed. All this calls for great care both in preliminary work and in the course of the experiment. Substantial funds invested in and considerable time required in executing the experiment are multiply recompensed by the success of the experiment. The information obtained about the location of groundwater flows will directly affect the maximum operating pool adopted for hydro-electric power projects and the most favourable point in cutting off groundwater flows and bringing them to the surface for water-supply purposes.