Karst aquifer modeling, state of the art and challenges

  • Date

    April 29,2019

  • Time


  • Venue


  • Speaker

    Dr Philippe Renard International Association of Mathematical Geosciences Distinguished lecturer 2019 University of Neuch√Ętel, Stochastic Hydrogeology and Geostatistics Group Neuch√Ętel, Switzerland

Karstic aquifers are characterized by the presence of rare but highly permeable karstic conduits embedded in a carbonate matrix of lower permeability. This highly heterogeneous structure results from the dissolution of the matrix by acidic water and a self-reinforcing process. Karst aquifers can present very fast flow and contaminant transfer in the conduits. Consequently, these aquifers are often highly vulnerable to groundwater pollution and extremely sensitive to climate fluctuations. In recent years, significant progresses have been made to model karstic reservoirs. In this presentation, we will discuss several of these modeling aspects, including techniques that can be used to simulate the geometry of karstic networks (often only partially known), flow and transport simulation methods, but also the speleogenesis processes and in particular the role of ocean tides in the case of coastal aquifers.

Philippe Renard is Associate Professor of Hydrogeology at the University of Neuchatel Switzerland where he leads the stochastic hydrogeology group. He graduated from the Nancy School of Geology in Nancy, France and obtained his PhD from École des Mines de Paris in 1996. He was water supply engineer in Kankan, Guinea from 1992 to 1993 and lecturer in hydrogeology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ) from 1997 to 2001.
His research focuses on stochastic hydrogeology and aquifer characterization. This includes various aspects such as groundwater hydraulics in porous, fractured or karstic rocks and the development of fast upscaling techniques for hydraulic conductivity.  In the field of geostatistics, he has mainly been involved during the last 10 years in the development of multiple-point statistics methods and their application to a wide range of problems from 3D geological modeling to the simulation of climate variables. Since Neuchâtel is located at the foot of the Jura mountain, a special emphasis was also devoted to the study and modeling of karstic systems. Philippe and his team developed novel pseudo genetic methods allowing to simulate cave network structures in a probabilistic manner.  He has also led studies related to the analysis and modeling of seawater intrusion processes in coastal aquifers in Cyprus, Tunisia, and Yucatan.

Additional information: Prof. Jimmy Jiao,