The hydrologic function and behavior of the Houzhai underground river basin, Guizhou Province, southwestern China

Lihong Liu, Longcang Shu, Xunhong Chen, Thomas Oromo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


The genesis of the Houzhai karstic water system of the Guanling Formation, southwestern China, dates back to the Middle Triassic. Due to differences in the geomorphology and the extent of the underground river system with highly developed conduits, the hydrologic function appears to be complex. The hydrologic function and behavior of the karst system were analyzed by spring hydrograph (Mangin 1975) and by groundwater hydrochemical methods. The result obtained from the former shows that the Houzhai karstic water system behaves in a non-karstic way, with slow infiltration and a large regulation power. This study shows that Mangin's karst classification is not applicable in the karstic water systems of southwest China. The hydrodynamic parameters obtained from Mangin's spring hydrograph and the hydrochemical parameters obtained from the analysis of the bicarbonate relative frequency were combined to characterize the hydrologic function and behavior of the Houzhai karstic water system. The synthesized result shows that the distortion degree of the precipitation input is lower upstream, due to the different surface landform and the degree of karst heterogeneity. Mangin A (1975) Contribution à l'étude hydrodynamique des aquifères karstiqus (Contribution to the hydrodynamic study of karst aquifers). Thèse, Université of Dijon, France (Annales de Spéléologie 29(3), 283-332; 29(4), 495-601; 30(1), 21-124).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-518
Number of pages10
JournalHydrogeology Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010



  • China
  • Groundwater flow
  • Houzhai karstic water system
  • Hydrogeochemistry
  • Spring hydrograph

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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