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Abstract

A strong and potentially dangerous decreasing trend in the level of water in Vrana Lake over the last three decades was analysed. This freshwater lake is a unique karst hydrology feature located on the small Adriatic island of Cres (405.71 km2), which is entirely composed of carbonate rocks. The lake is situated in a large cryptodepression and its base reaches a depth of 61.3 m below mean sea-level. The lake is a complex hydrological–hydrogeological system with an average water volume of c. 220 × 106 m3. The larger geographical region has been affected by an increase in air temperature over the last c. 40 years. This exceptionally clean freshwater lake is the only source of potable water for the whole Cres archipelago. A dangerous drop in the water level of the lake started in 1983. This decreasing trend is driven by both global climate change and anthropogenic (the overexploitation of water) factors.

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