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Abstract

Karst science is beginning to recognize and understand better the interaction between conduits and the fractures and/or pore spaces within the aquifer. The relationship has important significance in relation to the understanding of contaminant transport, resource management and dewatering practices. This study presents the results of a dye trace carried out to investigate the link between the aquifer and conduits near a large dewatered quarry in the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England. At the point of undertaking the study, there were no records of the quarry directly intercepting any conduits but water from the conduit(s) is known to be drawn into the quarry. During the study, water from the conduits was observed to be lost to and gained from the fractures in different places in the aquifer. This complexity highlights the dependence of conduit flow on water levels in the aquifer and the sensitivity of groundwater in karstified aquifers to contamination.

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