New paper in Water Resources Research

New paper evidencing unknown voids within the Lorette karst system, evidenced by the continuous gravity measurements of flash floods. This was first achieved with a gPhone spring gravimeter in 2013, continued with a superconducting gravimeter since end 2014.

Conceptual model of a 13‐m flood event in the Lorette cave projected on a west-east cross-section (vertical and horizontal scales in [m]). The zone progressively shifting from white to red represents the layer in which the modelled cavities are located. Red indicates a greater number of cavities. LUR and WWT refer to the water level sensor.

Watlet A., Van Camp M., Francis O., Poulain A., Rochez G., Hallet V., Quinif Y., Kaufmann O., Gravity monitoring of underground flash flood events to study their impact on groundwater recharge and the distribution of karst voids, Water Resources Research, doi:10.1029/2019WR026673, 2020.

EGU meeting: about the non-linear interactions in a karst system

Hydrological connectivity from causal analysis of time series in the Lhomme Karst System, Belgium.
Damien Delforge, Michel Van Camp, Marnik Vanclooster, Vincent Hallet, Olivier Kaufmann, Amaël Poulain, and Arnaud Watlet

EGU meeting, Vienna, April 8, 2019

The hydrological behaviour of karstic systems is difficult to theorize holistically because of their specific heterogeneities leading to distinctive non-linear processes. Karstified systems present great opportunities for field exploration and hydrogeological monitoring of the vadose zone through its network of caves and conduits. These unique but explorable environments are predisposed to an inductive scientific approach where transfer processes associated with hydrological connections are directly inferred from the data. This is done conventionally using dye tracing from which connections and transfer times are undeniably revealed. However, single tests do not allow appreciating the dynamic character of the hydrological connections. Nowadays,several data analysis methods aim at the detection of causal relationships between time series allowing the investigation of dynamics and interactions. Some are designed for linear systems as the simple cross-correlation method or the Granger causality, while others are suitable for non-linear interactions, such as the Convergent Cross Mapping method. Here, these methods are applied in order to draw up causal maps and compare short-term (up to 2 days) interactions in the Lhomme Karst System in Belgium. The Lhomme Karst System has been monitored since 2013 and many time series are available: meteorological data, soil moisture, drip discharges in the caves, piezometric levels, and local gravimetric time series. In addition, dye tracing experiments revealing connections and characteristic transfer times were conducted. The different causal maps are compared and causal interactions are appreciated through the current knowledge of the system and discussed in relation to the question: can we infer true hydrological connections and processes from the empirical determination of causal relationships between hydrological time series?

9 November: PhD thesis of Arnaud Watlet

On 9 November 2017, Arnaud Watlet will defend his PhD thesis dedicated to the de FNRS KARAG project of Rochefort.
Arnaud will present 4 years of results on the saturated and non-saturated zones of the karst aquifers.
The jury will be composed of the following members:
Prof. Olivier Kaufman, Université de Mons
Dr. Michel Van Camp, Observatoire Royal de Belgique
Pr Jean-Marc Baele, Université de Mons
Pr Thierry Camelbeeck, Observatoire Royal de Belgique
Pr Konstantinos Chalikakis, Université d’Avignon
Pr Cédric Champollion, Université de Montpellier
Pr Olivier Francis, Université de Luxembourg
Pr Pascal Goderniaux, Université de Mons
The dissertation defense will take place at 15 pm at U. Mons, Salle Académique, Bd Dolez, 31 (2e étage), 7000 Mons. The defense is public.
Aucun texte alternatif disponible.

Rochefort Cave lab on TV

The underground work of the KARAG team was presented on Belgium national televion (La Une) 28th of September at 12:40 PM! The small documentary focuses on the Rochefort cave laboratory and the measurements made in the vadose zone of the Givetian karst aquifer (click on the picture to watch the video).

Don’t miss this opportunity to discover our work 😉



A first PhD for KARAG

Amaël Poulain presented his PhD thesis last week, in the framework of the KARAG project.

Follow this link to see the Prezi presentation :

The thesis file may be downloaded at the following URL :

Remember that Arnaud Watlet will also present his PhD thesis in Geophysics this year. Stay tuned for more information !