In karst terrains, fractures and conduits often occur in clusters, forming groundwater quick flow belts, which are the major passages of groundwater and solute transport. We propose a cost-effective method that utilizes precipitation and spring discharge data to identify groundwater quick flow belts by the multitaper method (MTM). In this paper, hydrological processes were regarded as the transformation of precipitation signals to spring discharge signals in a karst spring catchment. During the processes, karst aquifers played the role of signal filters. Only those signals with high energy could penetrate through aquifers and reflect in the spring discharge, while other weak signals were filtered out or altered by aquifers. Hence,MTMwas applied to detect and reconstruct the signals that penetrate through aquifers. Subsequently, by analyzing the reconstructed signals of precipitation with those of spring discharge, we acquired the hydraulic response time and identified the quick flow belts. Finally, the methods were applied to the Niangziguan Spring (NS) catchment, China. Results showed that the hydraulic response time of the spring discharge to precipitation was 3 months at Pingding County; 4 months at Yuxian County, Yangquan City, Xiyang County, and Heshun County; and 27 months at Shouyang County and Zouquan County. These results suggested that Pingding County is located at a groundwater quick flow belt, which is amajor passage of groundwater and contaminants, in the NS catchment. This is important since Pingding County is not only the key development area of karst groundwater but also the key conservation area for sustainable development of karst groundwater resources in NS catchment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atmospheric Science