Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hessd-11-169-2014
https://doi.org/10.5194/hessd-11-169-2014
07 Jan 2014
 | 07 Jan 2014
Status: this discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.

Assessment of open thermodynamic system concepts for fluviokarst temperature calculations – an example, the Cent-Fonts resurgence (Hérault, France)

P. Machetel and D. A. Yuen

Abstract. We propose to assess the error done when temperature is considered as a conservative tracer in fluviokarst studies. As a matter of fact, heat exchanges occur between karstic Conduit System (CS) and Porous Fractured Matrix (PFM) that prevents from using this approximation without caution. The conservative tracer approximation boils down to consider the cooling of CS water by PFM flow in an open thermodynamic system where the CS is bounded by an Adiabatic Wall (AW). The resulting CS water temperature contrasts with the one obtained from more complete models (CW), which also take into account heat conduction within the CS, within the PFM, and from the CS to PFM through CS a Conductive Wall. In order to assess first orders of this error, the dimensionless equations, characteristic of CS cooling by PFM, have been solved thanks to Alternate Finite Difference Implicit methods both in AW and CW configurations. Four groups of dimensionless numbers appear in the various terms of energy and mass equations among which the Peclet and Reynolds numbers depict the large morphologic and hydrologic variability of natural karstic systems. A parametric exploration of the differences between AW and CW models has then been conducted vs. Peclet numbers (Pe numbers varying from 106 to 109, at constant CS Reynolds number) and vs. Reynolds numbers (Red varying from 103 to 107, at constant Peclet number). The error curves bound finite volumes in the Peclet–Reynolds space that converge uniformly to zero for the extreme values of these parameters. However, for Peclet and Reynolds numbers characteristic of realistic fluviokarst configurations, the errors reach finite values, that give first order information assessing the error done by considering temperatures as conservative tracers. Maximum relative errors around 10−2 (in fact 0.0092) have been found varying Pe; while it remained slightly lower than 0.7 × 10−2 varying Red. An illustrative example of the temperature conservative tracer AW approximation is presented with the data obtained from the main morphologic and hydrologic properties of the Cent–Font resurgence (Hérault, France). According to the results, the error reached at the output of the fluviokarst is 0.00613 (for Pe = 1.4993 × 108 and Red = 4.2969 × 104). When rescaled to the physical domain, this error leads to a temperature difference of 1.77 K between the CW and AW configurations.

P. Machetel and D. A. Yuen
 
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
P. Machetel and D. A. Yuen
P. Machetel and D. A. Yuen

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