Faculté des sciences

A statistical time series analysis of hydro-climatic stress on karst aquifer system (Switzerland)

Kimmeier, Francesco ; Bouzelboudjen, Mahmoud ; Eisenlohr, Laurent ; Rossier, Yvan ; Zwahlen, François

In: 3rd International Conference on Future Groundwater Resources At Risk, Lisbon, Portugal, 2001, p. 659-671

In order to determine the impact of climatic variations on several spring discharge, five karst aquifer systems were chosen in the Neuchâtel Jura (three basins over an area of 359 km2) and in the Prealps (2 basins of 4 and 10 km2 respectively). The records of air temperature, precipitation and groundwater discharge vary between 13 and 91 years. Statistical trend analyses... More

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    Summary
    In order to determine the impact of climatic variations on several spring discharge, five karst aquifer systems were chosen in the Neuchâtel Jura (three basins over an area of 359 km2) and in the Prealps (2 basins of 4 and 10 km2 respectively). The records of air temperature, precipitation and groundwater discharge vary between 13 and 91 years. Statistical trend analyses (Kendall and Spearman tests) and correlation and spectral analyses have been used to analyze these records. The aim of this paper is not to generalize the results to all karstic aquifers in Switzerland but to answer the three following questions : (i) is there a trend at a given station for given parameters ?, (ii) are the trends the same for the different stations ?, (iii) and finally can we detect the impact of possible climatic changes on the natural responses of five karst springs in the Jura and Prealps ? For the Neuchâtel Jura, a regional trend of rising air temperature has been demonstrated. This is marked by two successive increases in 1945 and 1980. In the Prealps of Vaud, this trend is less well defined. Only the increase in the 1980's has been locally detected. The statistical study of precipitation shows its random character at the regional scale of the Neuchâtel Jura and Prealps. The trend of a reduction in groundwater discharge at Champs-du-Moulin in the Areuse basin is visible since 1945. It is part of a regional trend towards lower discharge, no trend has been observed at the La Doux and Noiraigue Springs. In the Prealps, a rising trend has been observed at Les Avants Spring since 1976 and a falling trend in discharge can be identified at Grandchamp Spring since 1988. Despite the fact that in certain cases, there has been a coincidence between the beginning of temperature increase and of falling discharge, the trends shown do not allow us to state that the only cause is that of climatic changes.