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River backflooding into a karst resurgence (Loiret, France).

Abstract : The group of springs located in the west part of the Val d'Orléans exemplifies a type of karstic emergence which has the particularity to get most of its recharge water from a single surface water source, which in this particular case is the River Loire. Hence the flow of this group of springs is known to fluctuate in a close relationship with the water level of the River Loire. Since the second half of the 1990s, the conduit of the upstream spring of the Loiret river (so-called Le Bouillon) has been periodically seen to be invaded by the turbid waters of a small surface tributary (Le Dhuy) flowing back from the confluence to the spring, which then functioned as a swallow-hole. Plotted in a Dhuy versus River Loire diagram, stages of backflooding days describe a domain limited by a curve of the form HDhuy=c+e(aHLoire+b). The exponential form of the relation corresponds to the increasing resistance of the emerging flow of the spring to the backflooding of the tributary waters, as the River Loire stages rise. The equation above was used to compute a daily backflow index enabling the effective reconstruction of all occurrences effectively counted during the regular period of observation of the spring. Extended to 1985, one can observe that the early 1990s do not appear as a favorable period to backflow events but some may have occurred during the years 1986 to 1989. The observation of rainfall intensity preceding backflooding shows that in a short time span there is no necessity to evoke intrinsic changes inside the Val d'Orléans basin to explain what might appear as a troublesome new phenomenon. In conclusion backflooding has probably existed for a long time and is simply under the control of local heavy rainfall during low River Loire stages.
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Patrick Albéric. River backflooding into a karst resurgence (Loiret, France).. Journal of Hydrology, Elsevier, 2004, 286, pp.1-4, 194-202. ⟨10.1016/j.jhydrol.2003.09.018⟩. ⟨hal-00023578⟩

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