Modelling hazards impacting the flow regime in the Hranice Karst due to the proposed Skalička Dam
Abstract. This study examines hydrogeological risks associated with the construction of the proposed Skalička Dam in the vicinity of the Hranice Karst. Prompted by the catastrophic floods in 1997, the design of the dam aims to mitigate floods along the Bečva River downstream of the reservoir. However, concerns have been raised regarding the potential disturbance of the natural groundwater regime in the Hranice Karst and the source of mineral waters for the Teplice spa. This is particularly due to the dam's location in an area with limestone outcrops potentially susceptible to surface water infiltration. Previous studies have also highlighted the strong correlation between the water level in the Bečva River and the water level in karst formations such as the Hranice Abyss, Zbrašov Aragonite Caves, and other caves in the locality. To address these concerns, a nonlinear reservoir-pipe groundwater flow model was employed to simulate the behaviour of the Hranice Karst aquifer, and specifically the effects of the dam reservoir's impoundment. The study concluded that the lateral variant of the dam would have a practically negligible impact on the karst water system, with the rise in water level being only a few centimetres. The through-flow variant was found to have a more significant potential impact on water levels and the outflow of mineral water in the spa, with a piezometric rise of about 1 m and an increase in the karst water discharge to the Bečva River of more than 50 %. Based on these results, recommendations for further investigations concerning the design of the dam and its eventual construction were formulated to reduce geological uncertainties and minimise the potential impact of the hydraulic scheme on the hydrogeology of the karstic system.
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