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Jurassic Karst

Jurassic Karst Hydrogeological Observatory

The Jurassic Karst Hydrogeological Observatory is a local node of the national networks "SNO Karst" (labellized by the National Institute for Earth Sciences and Astronomy - INSU) and "SOERE RBV" (network of drainage basins, labellized by the French Alliance for Environmental research - Allenvi).


The Jurassic Karst (JK) scheme in place since 2009 aims to characterise the long-term evolution of the limestone aquifer system of the Jura mountains.

The karst’s low filtering capacity makes the water resources of the associated aquifer systems very vulnerable. The JK scheme is designed to study relations between the biogeochemical functioning of the infiltration zone and the hydrochemical response of the karst systems, with special attention to the consequences of climatic warming and changes in land use.

The specific topographical context of the Jura Arc means these processes can be studied at increasing altitudes along a climatic gradient. The plant cover and soil types vary along this gradient, thereby modulating the biogeochemical functioning of the infiltration zone of the karst hydrosystems.

Where and When
Four karst springs are monitored at sites of increasing altitude:

  1. Fourbanne (Doubs valley, near Baume-les-Dames): altitude 330 m
  2. Lods (upper Loue valley): altitude 380 m
  3. Fertans (Amancy plateau): altitude 530 m
  4. Source of the Doubs (Mouthe): altitude 950 m.
Station location

A number of physico-chemical parameters are monitored continuously on all sites, and supplemented weekly by automatic sampling at Fourbanne, Lods and Fertans.

Coordinator : Marc Steinmann
Chrono-Environment Laboratory – University of Franche-Comté