Working Paper Article Version 2 This version is not peer-reviewed

Investigation of Karst Spring Flow Cessation Using Grey System Model

Version 1 : Received: 6 September 2019 / Approved: 9 September 2019 / Online: 9 September 2019 (11:59:01 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 9 September 2019 / Approved: 10 September 2019 / Online: 10 September 2019 (10:57:55 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Guo, Y.; Yeh, T.-C.J.; Hao, Y. Investigation of Karst Spring Flow Cessation Using Grey System Models. Water 2019, 11, 1927. Guo, Y.; Yeh, T.-C.J.; Hao, Y. Investigation of Karst Spring Flow Cessation Using Grey System Models. Water 2019, 11, 1927.


Globally, karst aquifers store large amount of precious water and create beautiful karst springs in many places. However, most of the karst springs flow declined, and some of the karst springs dried up with the effects of extensive groundwater development and climate variation. In order to obtain better understanding of factors contributing to the drying-up of karst springs, this study introduced grey system models to quantify spring flow taking Jinci Springs (China) as an example, which dried up in May 1994. Based on the characteristics of Jinci Springs flow, the spring flow was divided into two stages: the first stage (1954-1960), when the spring flow was affected only by climate variation; and the second stage (1961-1994), when the flow was impacted by both climate variation and anthropogenic activities. Results showed that the Jinci Springs flow had strong relations with precipitation occurring one year and three years earlier in the first stage. Subsequently, a grey system GM (1, 3) model with one-year and three-year lags was set up for the first stage. By using the GM (1, 3) model, we simulated the spring flow in the second stage under effects of climate variation only. Subtracting the observed spring flow from the simulated flow, we obtained the contribution of anthropogenic activities to Jinci Springs cessation. The contribution of anthropogenic activities and climate variation to Jinci Springs cessation was 1.46 m3/s and 0.62 m3/s, respectively. Finally, each human activity causing spring flow decline was estimated. The methods are useful to describe the karst hydrological processes under the effects of anthropogenic activities and climate variation.


Jinci Springs; drying-up; anthropogenic activities


Environmental and Earth Sciences, Environmental Science

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 10 September 2019
Commenter: Yonghong Hao
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: Jinci Springs is located in the northwest of Taiyuan Basin of central Shanxi Province, China (Figure 1).
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