Accueil > English > RESEARCH > Teams > Karst : Karst & heterogeneous aquifers - Hydrology & water transfer


par Eric Eusebe - publié le , mis à jour le

Team leader :


Teams members

Some publications


Hydrogeology, Karst, Heterogeneous aquifers, Hydrodynamics, Hydrogeochemistry, Multi-scale approach, Surface water –groundwater interactions, groundwater resources

Research summary

The team’s activities are focused on the characterisation and modelling of transfer in heterogeneous aquifers (karst systems, fissured rocks, sedimentary basins).
Our main objective is to propose new theoretical approaches concerning physical processes involving water transfers, in order to propose new conceptual and numerical models adapted to different media. For this purpose, a strong link between data and models is required in order to i) understand the physics and chemistry of the media and ii) improve model physics by means of the following actions :

  • Identify parameters which strengthen constrains on model structure in order to improve simulation of i) transfer and transport mechanisms integrating surface/subterranean interactions, ii) links between geological structure and preferential flows and iii) evolution of groundwater resources from different types of aquifers under climate change ;
  • Characterize the recharge processes, the dynamics of subterranean fluxes and the vulnerability of the aquifer by using classical and/or new natural tracers specifically developed in karstic systems (non-conventional isotopes, 3D fluorescence of organic matter, noble and anthropogenic gases, air excess, diversity of microbial communities) ;
  • Estimate hydrodynamic and hydrodispersive karst properties at different scales (regional, local, borehole and laboratory experiments) by in situ specific measurements (CRITEX Team) and the development of specific interpretative methods ;
  • Quantify the impact of sedimentary and/or structural heterogeneities on transfer and transport at different scales.
    By combining these different approaches and integrating hydrodynamic, hydrochemical (dye and natural tracing), geophysical and water dating tools (radioactive isotopes, CFC, SF6), our main goal is to evaluate the impact of human activities and/or climate forcing on water quality and the availability of groundwater resources, as well as hydro(geo)logical risks (pollution and flood events).

Current projects

International national regional projects

  • ▫ 2014-2020 : Equipex CRITEX « Multidisciplinary monitoring of the earth’s Critical Zone »
  • 2015-2019 : ANR MED-SDG “Submarine Groundwater Discharge : A hidden source of chemical compounds at the land-ocean interface”
  • 2016-2019 : TOTAL/HSM Project (reference UM : 160184) « Flow transfer dynamics in a fault zone »
  • 2017-2021 : CPER/FEDER project « THAU demonstrator project for the preservation of the quality and water uses in the Mediterranean Thau complex hydrosystem, while continuing the economic development of this territory »
  • 2018-2021 : Albion 2 Project TOTAL/HSM – Petrophysical, hydrodynamical and geochemical characterization of the carbonated unsaturated zone of Vaucluse (LSBB observatory- Fontaine de Vaucluse).

South projects

  • 2017-2020 : IRD-FUNCEME Project. Study of salinization process in granitic aquifer with fast flow in a semi-arid zone (Céara, Brasil)
  • 2016-2019 : IRD-UDEA Project. Study of the superficial aquifer of Uraba Golf (Colombia)
  • 2016-2019 : Research and Educational program in hydrogeology and water resource management. University of Gadja Madah (Indonésie)/Pt Tirta Investama (Danone Indonésie)/UM
  • 2016-2018 : IRD-EPN-INAMHI Project. Study of the Andine system of Riobamba (Equator)
  • 2015-2018 : NERC UPGRO Project, « GroFutures »,
  • 2015-2018 : IRD/ISTEUB Project, Study of the coastal aquifers in the Bizerte and Gabès areas (Tunisia)

Completed projects

International, national, regional projects

  • 2015-2017 : Project TOTAL/HSM (reference UM : 435912) « Up-scaling of permeability properties in anisotropic sedimentary media »,
  • 2014-2016 : Project SATT LR/Région LR/HSM. “Acoustic probe for pipe inspection”
  • 2014-2016 : Project TOTAL/HSM “Prediction hydraulic, mechanical and seismic properties of carbonates”
  • 2012-2016 : TOTAL/Imperial College (UK)/HSM project. “Bulk properties of fracture networks in carbonates for multiscale flow modeling”
  • 2011-2014 : Project « Opti’Protect Eau : Numerical tool to define protection areas for boreholes exploited for water supply ». HSM/IAMM/VEOLIA/CEREG
  • 2009-2013 : CPER/FEDER project « Multi-use management of Mediterranean karstic aquifers. Study of the catchment basin of the Lez river in relation with the Lez karstic system ». HSM, CG34, BRGM, CERFACS, G-EAU, TETIS, Biotope, EMA
  • 2009-2013 : ANR Hydrokarst G2. HSM, Géosciences Montpellier, SISYPHE, Géosciences Rennes

South projects

  • 2014 – 2017 : Projet ECOS CONICYT Iquique « Assesment of climatic and anthropogenic control on recharge origin in an endhoreic aquifer under arid climatic environment »
  • 2012-2016 : IRD-UDEA Project. Study of the deep aquifer system of the Gulf of Uraba (Colombia)
  • 2012-2016 : FFEM / CBLT Project « Lake Chad »
  • 2012-2016 : IRD-Univ. of Sfax Project. Study of recharge processes of the Continental Intercalaire aquifer under extreme climatic conditions (South Tunisia)
  • 2009-2014 : Project IRD-EMAAP-Q. "Modeling of surface water and groundwater interactions in the Tumbaco/Cumbayá aquifer (Equator)