Karst-specific composite model for informed resource management decisions on the Biosfera de la Reserva Selva el Ocote, Chiapas, Mexico
Published:January 01, 2018
Johanna L. Kovarik, Philip E. van Beynen, 2018. "Karst-specific composite model for informed resource management decisions on the Biosfera de la Reserva Selva el Ocote, Chiapas, Mexico", Advances in Karst Research: Theory, Fieldwork and Applications, M. Parise, F. Gabrovsek, G. Kaufmann, N. Ravbar
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High permeability and rapid recharge in karst aquifers make them susceptible to contamination. We combined a groundwater vulnerability map with an environmental disturbance index to give an adaptable spatial tool for developing management strategies for a karst environment in the Reserva de la Biosfera Selva el Ocote (el Ocote), Chiapas, Mexico. Seventy-two per cent of the study area is classified as an area of least concern for management, with 60% falling within el Ocote. Consequently, although there are concerns regarding the vulnerability of the karst ecosystem, the lack of development and the natural protection of the ecosystem, the immediate need for remedial action by the area’s managers is currently minimal. About 27% of the study area is classified by the composite model as of moderate concern, with 34% within el Ocote. This reflects a balance between areas of moderate and high vulnerability, but little disturbance. Based on the management zones created by this study, much of the sub-catchment is zoned as of least or moderate concern, where disturbance has not occurred. As such, the opportunity exists to prevent major human impacts on vulnerable areas and the entire ecosystem, but only if local stakeholders are incorporated into this process of limiting development.
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Advances in Karst Research: Theory, Fieldwork and Applications
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Karst landscapes and karst aquifers are composed of a variety of soluble rocks, such as salt, gypsum, anhydrite, limestone, dolomite and quartzite. They are fascinating areas of exploration, study and research. As karst rocks are abundant on the Earth’s surface, the fast evolution of karst landscapes and the rapid flow of water through karst aquifers present many challenges from a number of different perspectives. This collection of 25 papers deals with different aspects of these challenges, including karst geology, geomorphology and speleogenesis, karst hydrogeology, karst modelling, and karst hazards and management. Together these papers provide a state-of-the-art review of the current challenges and solutions we face in describing karst from a scientific perspective, while at the same time providing useful data and information for managing karst territories to land planners, developers, and managers of show caves, natural parks and reserves in karst terrains.