Observations of stage and temperature dynamics in the epiphreatic caves within the catchment area of the Ljubljanica river (Slovenia)

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Franci Grabovšek
Janez Turk


Karst ground water dynamics between the Planinsko polje and the springs of Ljubljanica (Slovenia) was studied based on the monitoring of stage and temperature of ground water in four caves. The Unica River, which flows over the Planinsko Polje, and sinks at its E and N rim, is considered as the main input to the observed system. At small flood events its role is none or questionable. At medium and large events, when the discharge of Unica exceeds 25 m 

3/s, it becomes an important and/or the dominant input to the system. When the capacity of the primary (eastern) ponors in the polje is exceeded, the stage in a cave, which is fed solely through these ponors, reaches the plateau followed by a very slow recession. The surplus flow goes towards northern ponors causing a fast rise of the stage in adjacent to them. In two of the northernmost caves, the stage response is almost identical, but the temperature variations are different. The uniform water level suggests a highly permeable region bounded by a low permeability barrier in the down-flow direction, while different temperature behavior indicates a different origin of the waters for each cave.


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Original Scientific Papers
Author Biography

Janez Turk, Karst research institute

Karst research institute