Karst springs of Albania and their management

previous item | next item

Karst springs of Albania and their management

Material Information

Karst springs of Albania and their management
Series Title:
Acta Geographica Silesiana
Eftimi, Romeo
Andreychouk, Viacheslav
Szczypek, Tadeusz
Puchejda, Wojciech
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Karst Morphology ( local )
Karst Springs ( local )
Karst Water Quality ( local )
Management Of Karst Water ( local )
Albania ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )


Albania is situated in the western part of Balkan Peninsula, on the eastern coast of the Adriatic and the Ionian Sea. The karst landscape in Albania co- vers nearly 24% of the countries territory. The to- tal renewable karst water resources represent 80% of the groundwater resources of Albania. Nearly 70–80% of the population of the cities, including the capital Tirana, and other important are cities like Korça, Pogradec, Berat, Vlora and Gjirokastra are supplied by karst water; important resources are used for the production of the electricity, also. The massive use of karst waters in Albania is related to their abundant and mostly very good quality, as well as of the prevailing inexpensive gravity dis- tribution systems and their relatively simple main- tenance. The sustainable management of karst wa- ter resource is difficult due to the high heteroge- neity of karst aquifers in terms of type and deve- lopment of hydraulic porosity, flow velocity, hydra- ulic head, recharge type and quantity, karst water quality, as well as to the high vulnerability to the human impact.
Original Version:
Acta Geographica Silesiana, Vol. 13/2, no. 34 (2019).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
This item is licensed with the Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives License. This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to the author.
Resource Identifier:
K26-05239 ( USFLDC: LOCAL DOI )
k26.5239 ( USFLDC: LOCAL Handle )

USFLDC Membership

University of South Florida
Karst Information Portal

Postcard Information



This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text


39 Acta Geographica Silesiana, 13/2 (34) 39 56 ISSN 1897 5100 Romeo Eftimi 1 , V i ac h es l a v Andreychouk 2 , Tadeusz Szczypek 3 , Wojciec h Puchejda 4 1 Geological Service of Albania, R r. Rreshit Collaku, pll.Eurocol nr 43, 1001 Tirana, Albania; e mail eftimiromeo@gmail.com 2 Warsaw University, Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies, Krakowskie Prze str. 30, 00 927 Warszawa, Poland; e mail: czeslaw.andrejczuk@gmail.com 3 University of Silesia, Faculty of Earth Sciences, Bedzinska str. 60, 41 200 Sosnowiec, Poland; e mail: bajkal58@wp.pl 4 Bielsko mail: puchejda@poczta.o net.pl K arst springs of Albania and their managemen t Eftimi R., Andreychouk W., Szczypek T., Puchejda W. . Albania jest 80% . 70 . Keywords : karst morphology, karst springs, karst water quality, management of karst water , Albania. Albania


40 Abstract Albania is situated in the western part of Balkan Peninsula , on the eastern coast of the A driatic and the Ionian Sea. The karst landscape in Albania co vers nearly 24% of the countries territory. The to tal renewable karst water resources represent 80 % of the groundwater resources of Albania. Nearly 70 8 0 % of the population of the cities, inclu ding the capital Tirana , and other important are cities like , Pogradec , Berat , Vlora and Gjirokastra are supplied by karst water; important resources are used for the production of the electricity, also. The massive use of karst waters in Albania is related to their abundant a n d mostly very good quality, as well as of the prevailing inexpensive gravity dis tribution systems and their relatively simple main tenance. The sustainable management of karst wa ter resource is difficult due to the high hetero ge neity of karst aquifers in terms of type and deve lopment of hydraulic porosity, flow velocity, hydra ulic head, recharge type and quantity, karst water quality , as well as to the high vulnerability to the human impact. Introduction Karst rocks are ma y be one of the most important aquifer formations in the world, along with allu vium deposits. Their importance is related to both the amount of karst groundwater and the overall very good quality . The draft karst aquifer map of Europe shows that about 13% of the land sur face is carbonate rocks outcrop ( C HEN e t al. , 2017). On this map are shown also two big karst spring of Albania : Uji Ftohte and Blue Eye , which are described in this paper. M ARGAT (1998) estima tes that carbonate outcrops cover at least 15 % of the surface of the Mediterranean catchment area and the carbon ate aquifers supply at least 25 % of the domestic water supply. The water sup ply from the karst is dominant along the area of Alpine orogenic belt and in Carpathian Balkans coastal area and inner Balkans; since ancient ti mes 11 long aqueducts delivered more than 13 m 3 /s of water to Rome from distances ranging from 16 91 km ( L OMBARDI , C ORAZZA , 2008); two major pipelines, 130 and 200 km long pro vide an average of 4.5 m 3 /s for 1.7 million cit i zens of Vienna ( Z , 1974). At present four ca pitals of SEE (Sarajevo, Tirana, Skopje and Pod gorica), and numerous large towns utilize karstic water for drinking water supply ( S TEVANOVIC , E FTIMI , 2010). The present paper is a short overview of th e karst and of the biggest fresh karst springs of Al bania ; karst thermal springs are described in a separate publication ( E FTIMI , F RASHRI , 201 6 , 2018). Karst aquifers Albania is situated in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula, on the eastern coast of the Adriatic and the Ionian Sea (fig. 1). The total sur face of Albania reaches 28,748 km 2 and the po pulation 3.2 million. The country is mainly moun tainous with the mean elevation of 764 m abo ve sea level (a.s.l . ); many peaks higher than 2 000 m a. s.l. are located in the inner part of the country and associate mostly with the karst areas . The climate is typical Mediterranean. The annual mean air temperature varies be tween 15 and the coastal and around C in mountainous areas. The mean pre cipi tation reaches about 1 450 mm; the highest pre cipitation of more than 3 000 mm is measured in North Albanian Alps. Karst rocks can be found in all tectonic zo nes of Albania. In Korabi zone two tectonic win dows embodying Permian gypsum anhydride ro cks outcrop. Carbonate rocks in Mirdita Zone, constitute some important Mesozoic limestone syncline structures mostly overthrusted on mag matic rocks . The Albanian Alps Zone , the lar gest karst regions of the country consist the southernmost part of the Hi gh Karst Zone. In most of central and south Albania (in Kruja and Ionian zones), including the Adriatic depression, the carbonate structures are covered by thick flysch deposits and dip to Adriatic Sea. In Albania karst rocks cover about 6,750 km 2 consisti ng about 24% of country territory, of which 6 500 km 2 are carbonate rocks and 260 km 2 consist of gypsum . Karts of Albania is intensi vely developed in wide horizontal or gently sloping carbonates mainly of massive and thick


41 F i g. 1 . Location of karst ro cks and big karst springs of Albania ; with numbers are shown the springs mentioned in the text ( based on IHM of Europe, Albania ; sc. 1:1.5 , afte r E FTIMI , S HEGANAKU , T AFILAJ , 2009 ) Rys. 1. Roz mieszczenie odstawie IHM of Europe, Albania ; sc. 1:1.5 , after E FTIMI , S HEGANAKU , T AFILAJ , 2009) , IHM of Europe , Albania ; sc . 1:1.5 , afte r E FTIMI , S HEGANAKU , T AFILAJ , 2009)


42 bedded Triassic and Cretaceous formations . Karst terrains usually have unusual subsurface hydrology and particular landforms resulting from a c ombination of high rock solubility and well developed secondary porosity ( F ORD , W IL LIAMS , 2007 ) . However the karst network is dif ferent from the fracture pattern ( B A KALOWICZ , 2005) and karst permeability is self organised ( K LIMCHOUK , A NDREICHUK , 2010) . The karst mor phology of k arst landscape of Albania is very reach with karren fields, sinkholes, uvalas, poljes, blind valleys, karst plateaus, tower karst, swallow holes, vertical shafts and caves. One of most at tract tive karst landforms of Albania are t he karst plateaus which are developed mainly in the wi de syncline structures located in all the tectonic z ones of Albania at absolute el evation about 1 200 2 000 m; their surfaces vary from about 20 km 2 to about 80 km 2 . The largest caves are about 3 000 4 000 m long, while the maximal depth of the vertical caves is about 300 400 m. Some typical forms of karst morphology of Alba nia are shown in f ig. 2. Fig. 2. Some karst forms of Albania: a Deep karen field in Saranda coastal line (South Albania) , b Mali me Grop p a karst plateau at elevation about 1 600 1 800 m asl, c A water pool situated at the bottom of a sinkhole; d Zaver swallow hole where disappear Prespa Lake water to reappear at the big karst springs in Ohrid lakeside (phot. a, b , c by R. Eftimi, phot. d by V. Andreychouk) a Mali me Grop p 600 1 800 m n.p.m., c jezioro w dnie leja krasowego; d p onor Ochrydzkiego (fot. a, b , c R. Eftimi, fot. d V. Andreychouk ) a b 600 1 , c , d a , b , c d


43 The natural recharge of a karst aquifer is af fected by many factors related to the land sur face, surface water, soil zone and unsaturated zo ne ( R USHTON , W ARD , 1979). Mo st widespread of recharge processes is the areal infiltration of pre cipitation directly to the carbonate rocks, but the recharge from rivers or lakes water, or the in flow from shallow gravely aquifers of some karst aquifers of Albania is present , also ( E FTIMI , D HA ME , 2006, E FTIMI , S , Z OTO , 2002 ; E FTIMI et al., 2017 ; E FTIMI , 2009 ). The most reliable method to determine karst aquifer recharge certainly is based on the dischar ge measurements of all the springs of the aqu i fer ( S TEVANOVIC , 2015), but some empirical me thods ( T URC , 1954 ; K ESSLER , 19 6 7) are quite appli cable in engineering practice ( B ONACI , L JUBEN KOV , 2005 ). The calculated average yearly effi cient infiltration range in a wide scale ; in the Albanian Alps vary about 1,500 to more than 2, 000 mm, in MMG 1,100 mm, in Mali Thate 400 The total natural karst groundwater resour 9 m 3 /y (227 m 3 /s). Karst water flow module of Albania is calculated 33.6 l/s/km 2 , but it is varying in wi de limits from place to place from 43 45 l/s/km 2 in Albania Alps to 11 l/s/km 2 in Central south Albania. Ka rst springs Karst water refers to subsurface mobile waters present in a karst area . Groundwater moves along the fissures and fractures, but also often crosses them. In a regional scale the direction of karts water flow is governed by the regional ero sion and corrosion basis , which not necessarily coincides with the development of the secondary porosity ( M ANDEL , 1963 ; B AKALOWICZ , 2005 ; G OLDSHEIDER , 2005). Many authors afford classi fication of springs as outlet of aquifers. M AINZER (1923) classifies the sp ring groups based on the discharge, L A M OREAUX and T ANNER (2001) use a recent comprehensive classification of the springs is based on ten criterions ( S TEVANO VIC , 2015). The karst aquifers of Albania, as t he karst aqui fers in general, are characterised by the high sea sonal variability and high vulnerability ( B AKA LOWICZ , 2015). On the Hydrogeological Map of Albania, scale 1 : 200.000 ( E FTIMI at al., 1985), are shown more than 2 000 karst spring varying gr eatly in productivity. In Albania there are 110 karst springs which average discharge is more than 100 l/s, and 17 of them have discharges mo re than 1 000 l/s; some of them are shown in fig. 1. Main factors controlling the location of karst springs of Alb ania are: a) the erosion/corrosion activity, b) the surface hydrology, and c) tecto nics. Many contact springs issue in the edges of geological structures, while other springs escape at or near the valley floor of rivers, deeply inter secting the carbonate rocks (fig. 3). Large ground water quantities drain to the big lakes of Shko dra and Ohrid, as well as to the seaside in some places as submarine springs (South Albania co astal area). Very interesting results are reviled by speleo diving realised for th e investigation of the si phons of some big karstic springs in South Alba nia ( T OULOUMDJIAN , 2005; Z HALOV , 2015). The depth of the major investigated siphons varies about 60 to 83 m but some of the explored hy drologic systems are still deeper. The siphon springs and submarine springs indicate the pre sence of deep karstification below the ground sur face or below sea level. The southern high mountain rocky part of Albanian coastal chain is about 154 km long and consists of important high elevation karstic aqui fers draining to Ionian Sea in average about 17 18 m 3 / s ( E FTIMI , 2010). The type of drainage depends on the hydrodynamic conditions of the karst aquifers which mostly are opened to sea, or those discharging over complete barriers ( S TE VANOVIC , 2014; B AKALOWICZ , 2015). Most of the coastal karstic aquifers of Albania are open to sea and are characterised by a diffuse drainage without forming concentrated springs ( E FTIMI et al., 1985). However particularly impor tant for the water supply of the coastal ar ea are some large overflow springs discharging over complete barriers of underlying impermeable Eocene flysch sediments , thus eliminating sea water intrusion.


44 Fig. 3. Some karst springs issuing in the river valleys: a Vrella Shoshanit spring, b Bl ack Eye spring issues in Vjosa River canyon , c Kroi Isake spring is located in the deep Mat River canyon, d Trebeshina spring issues in Vjosa River canyon (phot. by R. Eftimi) a kanionie rzeki Mat, d (fot. R . Eftimi ) a b c d Karst water quality Karstic water has significant differences in phy s ic chemical characteristics which have a clear relation to the lithology of the karst rocks ( E F TIMI , 1998 ; E FTIMI et al., 2017). The spring waters of pure limestone of M MG have low hardness (1 3 mlg.eqv/l), low SO 4 2 concentrations (usually less than 15 mg/l), and therefore also a low EC varying about 150 230 rCa/rMg varies about 7 to 13. The dolomite waters are hard (total hard ness varies about 5 to 10 mlg/eqv/l); the EC is re latively higher , it varies about 350 SO 4 2 concentrations vary about 80 mg/l, coming probably from t he oxidation of the trace pyrite and marcasite and gypsum present in dolomites of the investigated massif ( H EM , 1985); the ratio rCa/rMg varies about 1.2 to 3.5. In some carbonate structures of South Alba nia, which are in contact to the gypsum deposits th e concentration of SO 4 2 increases to more than 120 mg/l and EC varies about 500 to 700 The spring water is saturated with respect to cal cite and is near saturation with respect to dolomite and the rSO 4 /rMg ratio usually is more than 5.0. Along the southern Ionian carbonate rocky coast , mixing of karst water with seawater takes place and there are some big mineralized karst springs of Cl Na type; the chloride concentra tion varies from about 400 to about 5,000 mg/ l.


45 Some important karst springs Syri Sheganit spring Syri Sheganit spring (fig. 1, nr 1, fig. 4) is loca ted in sou th western part of Albanian Alps, at the eastern margins of Shkodra Lake. The Alba nian Alps represents the southernmost part of High Karst Zone of the Dinarides; they consist mainly of Mesozoic limestone deposits. The neo tectonic uplift and intensive den udation have led to the contemporary complex relieve, with altitudes exceeding 2 000 m a.s.l. ( the highest peak is Jezerca 2 692 m a.s.l.). The topography is rugged , the peaks are sharp, and the river valleys are steep and narrow. Fig. 4. Syri Shegan it spring: a main spring orifice, b a collapse lake connected with the recharge canal of spring; c cross section of the submerged spring siphon (phot.: a by R. Eftimi, phot. b by V. Andreychouk) a R. Eftimi, fot. b V. Andreychouk ) a b c a b A . The high precipitation (usually more than 2 000 mm/year) and relatively low temperatures of the Alps enable the effective infiltration to be also high; it is calculated that the average value for all the area varies about 1 250 mm , and the cal culated total renewable karst water resources of the Albanian Alps result at about 50 m 3 /s (equal to 1.575*10 9 m 3 / year ), and the module of karst water flow is about 43 l/s/km 2 . The karst groundwater resources of Alba nian Alps drain mostly as big springs which are concentrated in two well defined sectors ; the first one, includes their northern central and eas tern part, and the second one includes the Shko dra Lake side. In the first sector the springs emer ge at the bottom of deep cutting river valleys , and cold be mentioned two of them, Gurra Fto hte (fig.1, nr 2) mean discharge about 1.2 m 3 /s and Vrella Shoshani t ( fig . 1, nr 3, fig . 3a) vary ing from 0.8 m 3 /s to more than 3.0 m 3 /s. The se cond sector is a wide area of about 450 to 500 km 2 of the southern part of Albanian Alps zone drai -


46 ning to Shkodra Lake. It is calculated that about 40% of the total karst water resources of Alba nian Alps , equal at about 18 m 3 /s, drain to Shko dra Lake. The biggest spring draining in Shko dra Lake is Syri Sheganit discharging about 0.1 m 3 /s to more than 10 m 3 /s. The water discharges through a well connec ted system of submerged channels. At the top the re is a vertical shaft diameter nearly 20 m which depth, as measured by the speleodivers, reaches about 20 and after that the spring recharge chan nel continue for about 260 m, but the end is not reached (fig. 4). At distances ab out 200 m east to the Syri Sheganit spring, two collapse lakes each diameter nearly 30 m are situated (fig. 4, b), both connected with the main recharge canal of the spring. B y installation , at vertical shaft , of big the pumps capacity more than 2 m 3 /s, fo r many years it was possible to pump and provide water for ir rigation without creating sensitive drawdown. Along the north most limestone edge of Shkodra Lake there are also other important coastal springs, and sublacustrin spring not yet investigated. S elita and St. Maria springs Selita and St . Maria springs are located about 20 km east of Tirana, in western part of Mali me Grop a ( MMG ) karst plateau (fig. 1 nr 4 and 5; fig 5). MMG represents an allochthonous block mainly consisting of Upper Triassic pu re limesto ne. The surface morphology at MMG area is cha racterized by high frequency of dol i nes , uvalas and small poljes, which density at the karst plate aus developed at elevations around 1 500 1 600 m a.s.l., may reach hundreds per square kilometre. Linosi valley consisting of the flysch like de posits separates the MMG in two hydrogeological blocks : the eastern surface 85 km 2 , and the wes tern one 55 km 2 . The estimated water resources of western karst block of about 7.25*10 6 m 3 /year ( or 2.3 m 3 /s) recharge three big karst springs : St. Maria, Selita and Uji Bardhe (fig. 5), with mean discharges respectively 1 110 l/s, 522 l/s and 670 l/s. The mentioned springs issue at the contact of im permeable flysch basement with the pure limes tone. The water re sources of eastern karst block es timated at about 11 .2*10 6 m 3 / year ( or 3. 55 m 3 /s) drain in the deep erosion Mat River valley where the biggest spring is Kroi Isake spring (fig. 3c, fig. 5b). The water quality is excellent , the conductivi ty is about 230 2.2 meq / l, and the water chemical type is HCO 3 Ca ( E FTIMI , 2005). Since fifties of the last century Selita and St Maria springs are used for the water supply of Tirana. In MMG karst plateau there is no intensive human ac tivity, apart some the sheep grazing. However, some tentative to cultivate intensively the large karst poljes in re charge area close to Selita and St, M aria springs resulted with negative impact . The first heavy rains after the cultivation have been enough to partially remove the land cover and the turbidity of springs reached the highest historical value compromising the Tirana water supply ( E FTIMI , Z OJE R , 2015). -------------------------------------------------------------------Fig. 5. Mali me Groppa karst plateau (MMG): a A Google photo of MMG karst plateau and location of main springs, b Hydrogeological cross section of MMG karst plateau (after R. Eftimi); 1 Karstic aquifer (T 3 J 1 ), Impermeable rocks, 2 Flysch (Pg 1 2 ), 3 Radiolarites with limestone strata (T 2 ), 4 Effusive sedimentary rocks (J 3 Cr 1 ), 5 2 ), 6 Groundwater level, 7 Karst water flow direction, 8 Spring with average discharge higher than 100 L/s, 9 Geologic boundary a (MMG): a R. Eftimi); 1 wodonosiec krasowy (T 3 J 1 flisz (Pg 1 2 ), 3 radiolaryty z warstwami wapieni (T 2 ), 4 osadowe (J 3 Cr 1 ), 5 truzywne ultrazasadowe ( J 2 ), 6 granice geologiczne a Google b T 3 J 1 Pg 1 2 ), 3 ( T 2 ), 4 J 3 Cr 1 ), 5 ( 2 ), 6


47 Tushemisht springs In south east Albania, in the border area with North M acedonia are located two big transboun dary lakes : Ohrid and Prespa separated by high elevation Mali Thate Galichica karst massif ( hi ghest peaks Mali Thate 2 288 m a.s.l., fig . 6). The karst massive consists of Upper Triassic Lo wer Jurassic massive lim estone. Clay sandstone conglomerate Pliocene deposits fill the bottom of the lakes Prespa and Ohrid. Because Mali Thate Galichica karst massive consists of carbonate rocks, and the level of lakes has a difference of about 155 m, a hypotheses was formulat ed by C VIJIC (1906) that the big karst springs of Tushemisht and St. Naum issuing in the southern edge of Ohrid Lake ( fig . 1, nr 7, fig. 6) are partially recharged by the Prespa Lake. In fig. 2d is shown Zaver swallow hole where Prespa lake water disappear to reappear in the big karst springs of Tushemisht and St. Naum in Ohrid lakeside. The picture is of 2008 and co incides with the lowest level of the Prespa Lake at least of the last 200 years. The mean discharge of Tushemisht Spring is 2.5 m 3 /s (equal to 79*10 6 m 3 /year) and that of St . Naum Spring is 5.58 m 3 /s (equal to 175*10 6 m 3 /year). Some unknown water quantity drains in the Ohrid Lake, also. In the Zaver swallow ho le located in Prespa lakeside , the intensive loss of the lake water into karst rocks could be ob served (fig. 2d). The altitude effect of the isotopic composition of the meteoric water is used for the identifica tion of the waters coming from different poten tial groundwater recharge sources of study area. The local precipitation and Pres pa Lake water are examined as some potential source to Mali Tha te Galichica karst groundwater. Based on the results of the isotopic analyses a correlation


48 Fig. 6. Hydrogeological map of part of Mali Thate Galichica karst massif (after: E FTIMI , S , Z OTO , 2002 ). Inset photo shows the construction of the impermeable diaphragm of the intake structure of an orifice of Tushemisht spring at Ohrid lakeside . Rys. 6. E FTIMI , S , Z OTO , 2002 Ochrydzkiego. E FTIMI , S K NDE , Z OTO , 2002 function between mean 18 and values of sampling points which enabled to calcul ate the mixing proportion of the Prespa Lake water with the infiltrated in the karst massif precipitation. It was calculated that the Tushe misht Spring is recharged at 53 % (1.3 m 3 / s) by the Prespa Lake and at 47 % (1.2 m 3 /s) by the in filtrated precipitati ons in the karst massif. The percent proportion of recharging water of St. Na um Spring resulted different; the rechar ge from Prespa Lake consists 38 % and that of infiltrated precip itation in the karst consist 62 % of the total yearly discharge of the subje cted spring ( A NOVS KI . A NDONOVSKI , M INCEVA , 1991 ; E FTIMI , S , Z OTO , 2002 ; E FTIMI et al., 2017 ) . With the support of IAEA, an artificial tracer experiment was performed, also, to further inves tigate the karst groundwater movement of Mali Thate Galichic a karst massif ( A MATAJ et al., 2005). It was injected at Zaver swallow hole , at Prespa


49 Lake, and sampling included some outlets of Tu shemisht and St. Naum Spring. The resulted ma ximum velocities of karst water vary from 233 m/h to 3 200 m/h. Slight diffe rences of groundwater velocity exist not only from one spring to another, but even within the outlets of the same spring and such testifying the presence of differently de veloped underground water passages at close distances. The water quality of Tushemis ht Spring is ex cellent, the electrical conductivity vary about 300 310 hardness 3.0 3.87 meq/l and the water chemical type is HCO 3 Ca; the water temperature vary about 11.3 to 11.9 C. When for increasing the water quantity of capture d springs are used pumps the protection of karst springs become more difficul t ( C OTECHIA e t al ., 1982 ; M ILANOVIC , 2000 ; S TEVANOVIC , 2010 , 2014). In Tushemisht karst spring, for the incre asing the spring rate flow, as well as for the pro tection from pollution by the eventual seepage of the lake water, an impermeable protection dia phragm is constructed (fig. 6). The diaphragm con sists of 74 alternating cemented and reinforced boring piles diameter 600 mm and maximal depth 7.5 m tightly incised in the basement rock . The pumping capacity of the new intake structure was increased fro m about 100 l/ s to about 250 l/s assuring the spring water quality from the mi xing with the lake water. Uji Ftohte Spring Near to the city of Vlora is situated the Tragjas carbonate anticline which consist the northern most coastal karst aquifer with th e highest peak at 1 864 m a.s.l. This structure is made up by Me sozoic and Paleocene Eocene carbonate rocks and thin bedded cherts. On the NW sector, in the area transgres sive contact of carbonate rocks with Noegene cla yey formations is present ( M , A LIAJ , 2000 ; X HOMO et al ., 2002 ). The Neogene clay forma tions work as a barrier that prevents the seawa ter intrusion into the karst aquifer. springs located about 5 km south of city of Vlo ra flowing at sea level. Along the seaside, in a starch about 1.7 km long, are identified 32 springs, con centrated in three sectors, respectively 185, 350 and 500 m long ( T AFILAJ , 1964). To capture the springs three tunnels are placed landward and parallel to the sea coast at a distance 60 70 m from shoreline and at elevation 0.2 0.5 m a.s.l. The mean annual discharge of all the springs is about 2.0 m 3 /s and the total mean discharge of the in take tunnels used for the Vlora city water sup ply vary about 0.8 to 2.0 m 3 /s ( E FTIMI , 2003). The main chemical parameters of the karst water drained measured at the drainage tunnels, are as follows : conductivity 400 760 TDS 250 540 mg/l, Cl 20 150 mg/l, SO 4 35 50 mg/l, Na 20 90 mg/l, Ca 50 60 mg/l, NO 3 1 5 mg /l, NO 2 is below detection limit , pH 7.2 7.7; the hydrochemical type is HCO 3 Ca Mg ( E FTIMI , 2005). However, the situation in the catchments area of Uji is undergoing rapid chan ges : instead of the fruit trees , brushwood , mea dows and outcropping rocks, an uncontrolled ur ban area is under fast development in the imme diate vicinity to the subjected springs (fig. 7). The new urban area with out a properly planned waste water system, and with septic tanks mostly con structed without any special isolation , is a con stant mincing factor. Viroi and Blue Eye Springs Viroi and Blue Eye Springs ( fig . 1, nr 11 and nr 12) issue from the Mali Gjere k arst massif which is lo cated in South Albania on the border with Gre ece; its total surface area 440 km 2 , mostly located in Albanian territory ( 54 km 2 in Greek territory ). The mountain crest of Mali Gjere (the highest peak 1 798 m a.s.l . ) is the natural w ater divide be tween the Drinos River ba s in located on the east , and Bistrica River basin located on the west (fig. 8). Mali Gjere is an anticline structure consi sting of Mesozoic carbonate sequence overth rown to Perm Triassic gypsum and clay deposits, s urrounded by Paleogene and Neogene flysch formations. The carbonate rock are well stratified and dip to the east , to Drinos River plain , with an gles about 20 25 ( fig . 3 RE ). While the stratifi cation fractures are well developed the big surfa ce karst fo rms are very rare ; only some small kar r en fields and two vertical spring shaft orifices depth about 50 m are present.


50 Fig. 7. Hydrogeological map of Vlora area: 1 Gravelly aquifer, 2 Sandy to gravelly aquifer, 3 Karst aquifer, 4 Sandstone aqu ifer, 5 Non aquiferous rocks, 6 Karst water flow direction (after E FTIMI et al. , 1985). Inset photo shows the new urban area located, above the intake tunnels. Ry s . 7. Mapa hydrogeologiczna rejonu Vlory: 1 wodono s wodonosiec piaszcz ysto wodonosiec krasowy, 4 wodonosiec w piaskowcach, 5 E FTIMI we 1 6 E FTIMI et al The total discharge of all the springs of Mali Gjere karst massif results about 743 6 m 3 / year , equal to 23.6 m 3 /s ( E FTIMI , A MATAJ , Z OT O , 2007). Mali Gjere karst massif recharge two much known springs of Albania, Viroi Spring Blue Eye Spring. Viroi Spring ( fig . 9a) issue at elevation about 195 m a.s.l. which represent the lowest elevation of the outcrop of karstic rocks on the eastern foo thils of Mali Gjere. The spring orifice is loca ted just in the contact of Paleogene limestone rocks with the Paleogene flysch deposits. The wa ter discharges through a well developed siphon which maximal investigated depth is 83 m ( T OULOUMDJIAN , 2005). V iroi spring is the big gest temporary one of Albania with a maximal discharge more than 30 m 3 /s. Usually , during the


51 period July September the spring drays up to tally , but during the flowing period a beautiful temporary lake is formed close to the spring (fig. 9a). At ground surface, close to the top of the siphon for many years, before 1990, has fun ctioned a big pumping station ( f ig. 9b), with ca pacity 2 m 3 /s, and the water was used for the irrigation. Fig. 8. Blue Eye Spring (after E FTIMI et al ., 1985): a Hydrogeological map of the Mali Gjere karst aquifer, b Hydrogeological cross section through the Blue Eye Spring E FTIMI et al., 1985): a mapa hydrogeologiczna wodono ca krasowego Mali Gjere, b E FTIMI et al ., 1985): a b


52 Fig. 9 . Two siphon springs: a Viroi Spring , b m ain orifice of Blue Eye Spring (profiles after C. Touloumdjian, phot. by R. Eftimi) Ry s a , b (przekroje wg C. Touloumdjian, fot. R. Eftimi) . 9. a , b C . Touloumdjian , ) The spring water is of HCO 3 Ca and the ave rage values of some water chemical parameters are as follow : conductivity 370 cm , Ca 62 mg /l, HCO 3 161 mg/l, SO 4 46.5 mg/l and the tempera Blue Eye Spring emerges on the western foothill of the Mali Gjere karst massif , which is located in the south eastern part of Albania (fig. 9b). The total surface of Mali Gjere is 440 k m 2 , mostly located in Albanian territory (about 400 km 2 ). Most of the karst water resources of this massif discharge in its western si de, where Blue Eye Spring with a mean discharge of 18.2 m 3 /s is sues at elevation about 155 m a.s.l., or at 55 m lower than the Drinos River Valley . The spring has six main orifices, and the biggest of them shown in Fig . 9b, dis charges about 60 % of the total spring dischar ge (fig. 9b). Using the environmental isotope and hydro chemical techniques combined with the balance investigations is verified that about 65% of the yearly discharge if Blue Eye Spring is recharged by the effective infiltrations in the MGM karst massif and about 35% of the total discharge of is replenished by the ground waters of the Drinos River gravel ly aquifer ( E FTIMI , A MATAJ , Z OTO , 2007; E FTIMI , D HAME , 2009a). This is facilitated by the good hydraulic connection of between


53 Fig. 10. Some additional photographs to the issue of karst springs of Albania: 1 2 large springs at the Albanian bank of S hkoder Lake; 3 ponor (Zaver) in the rocky bank of Big Prespa Lake in which lake waters disappear and flow under Galichica Ridge to Ohrid Lake located 200 m below, 4 stream flowing into Ohrid Lake from springs (St. Naum Springs at Macedonian bank of t he Lake) supplied by waters coming from Big Prespa Lake, 5 6 Blue Eye Spring and the river birthed by Spring (phot. by V. Andre ychouk ) Rys. 10. Wybrane dodatkowe fotografie 1 2 ra Szkoderskiego; 3 ponor (Zawer) w skalistym brzegu jeziora 6 Oko i rzeka V. Andreychouk ) . 10. 1 2 x 6 ( .: . )


54 both a q uifers , and by the natural kar s t ground water slope to the Blue Eye Spring, (fig. 8b). The spring is typically ascending, and cave diving explorations have established a deep al most vertical karstic channel ( T OULOUMDJIAN , 2005 ) . At a depth 73 m, the chan nel diminishes and become nearly horizontal and then continues even deeper (fig. 9b). The spring water is of HCO 3 SO 4 Ca type and the average values of some water chemical Ca 95 mg/l, HCO 3 203 mg/l, SO 4 11 8.6 mg/l of the last century , the spring water aft e r collec tion in a small like is diverted for the produc tion of the electricity. It should be mentioned that karst springs of Albania are important not onl y from the eco nomic point of view , but they represent also objects that can constitute excellent tourist attrac tions due to their size, uniqueness and the sur rounding scenery . Some additional photos of springs are given in fig. 10. Conclusions The p resent paper is a short overview of the karst and of karst springs of Albania , where some of the biggest of them are described more in detail. The total natural karst groundwater resour ces of Albania are calculated with 7. 15 10 9 m 3 /y ( 227 m 3 /s) and consi st about 80 % of the total groundwater resources of the country . Karst wa ter usually discharges from karstified rock in the form of karst springs that can vary greatly in pro ductivity. In Albania there are 110 karst springs which average discharge is more than 100 l/s, and 17 of them have discharges more than 1 000 l/s ( E FTIMI et al ., 1985 ; fig . 1). The discharge of the Blue Eye Spring, the biggest spring of Albania is 18.2 m 3 /s. Many contact springs issue in the edges of geological structures , while other springs escape at or near the valley floor of rivers, deeply intersecting the carbonate rocks . Large ground water quantities drain to the big lakes of Shkodra and Ohrid, as well as to the seaside (South Alba nia coastal area). As reviled by speleodiving s o me important karst springs, mostly located in the Western Albania, have deep siphons which maxi mal depth vary about 60 to more than 83 m. Most of karst springs of Albania have excellent quality . Nearly 70 80% of the population of the cities in Albania, including the capital Tirana, are sup plied by karst water. The main problems related to the intensive use of the karst water are related to : a) unstable groundwater regime as result by uneven reinfall distribution throughout the year, as well as , the fas t discharge of the karst water resources through the well developed flow paths, and b) high vulnerability to human impact. References Amataj S, Anovski T., Benischke R., Eftimi R., Gourcy L., Kolam L., Leontiadis I., Micevski E., Stamos A., Zoto J., 2005 : Tracer methods to ve rify the hypothesis of Cvijic about the under ground connection between Prespa and Ohrid lakes. In: Stevanovi Wa ter resources & Environmental Problems in Karst Cvijic . Beograd , Kotor : 499 504. Anovski T,. Andonovski B., Minceva B., 1991: Study of the hydrologic relationship between Ohrid and Prespa lakes . Proceedings of IAEA Internatio nal Symposium, IAEA SM Vienna, 319/62. Bakalowicz M., 2005: Karst groundwater: a challenge for new resources. Hydrogeol. J. , 13: 148 160. Bakalowicz M., 2015: Karst and karst groundwater resources in the Mediterranean . Environ Earth Sci , 74: 5 14. Bonaci O., Ljubenkov I., 2005: Karst river Krka hy ceedings of the Internatio nal conference and field seminars, Belgrade and Kotor, 13 22 September 2005 . Beograd Kotor: 397 404 . Chen Z., Auler AS., Bakalowicz M., Drew D., Griger F., Hartmann J., Jiang G., Moosdorf N., Richtes A., Stevanovic Z., Veni G., Goldscheider N., 2017: World Karst Aquifer Mapping project: concept, mapping procedure and map of Europe. Hydrogeol J . , DOI 10.1007/s10040 016 1519 3, Published online: 13 January 2017, Springer. Cotechia V., Micheletti A., Montersi L., Salvemini A., 1982 : Caratteristiche tecniche de lle opere per Geol Applicatta e Hidrogeol V XVII, 1982 : 365 384. Cvijic J., 1906: Fundamental of Geography and Geo logy of Macedonia and Serbia . Special Edition VIII+680, (in Serb Croat) , Belgr ade.


55 Eftimi R., 1998: Some data about the hydrochemis try of Kruja Dajt mountain chain (in Albanian). Studime Gjeografike, 11 , Tirana : 60 69. Eftimi R., 200 5 : Some considerations on seawater freshwater relationship in Albanian coastal oastal aquifers intrusion technology: Geta, Tom II, IGME, Madrid, pp 239 250. Eftimi R., 2009: Investigation of the recharge sources of Blue Eye spring, by means of environmental iso tope and hydrochemical tracers . In: Ognjen Bo nacci (ed.): Sustainability of Karst Environment Dinaric Karst and other Karst Regions. Internatio nal Interdisciplinary Scientific Conference, Plitvice Lakes, Croatia, 23 26 Se ptember, 2009. Proce edings, IHP VII series on Groundwater, 2 : 57 65. Eftimi R., 2010: Hydrogeological characteristics of Albania. AQUAmundi Am01012: 079 092. Eftimi R., Akiti T., Amataj S., Benishke R., Zot J., Zojer H., 2017: Environmental hydrochemical and stabile isotope methods used to characterize the relatio n between karst water and surface wa ter. Accque Sotteranee Italian Journal of Gro undwater As20 257: 23 36. Eftimi R., Amataj S., Zoto J., 2007: Groundwater circulation in two transboundary carbonate aqui fers of Albania; their vulnerability and prote ct tion. In : Selected Papers on Hydrogeology , 11 . Taylor & Fracis Group, London, UK : 199 212. Eftimi R., Dhame L., 2009 : Investigation about the by means of environmental hydrochemical tra cers . I n : Sudar M., E Proceedings of XVIII th Carpathian Balkan Geolo gical Association, Belgrade : 123 1 26. Eftimi R., Frasheri A., 2016: Thermal and mineral wa ters of Albania . PRINT_AL Tirana : 214 p. (in Al banian), Eftimi R., Frasheri A., 2018: Regional hydrogeologi cal characteristics of thermal waters of Albania Acta Geographica Silesiana, 12/1 (29) Sosnowiec: 11 26. Eftimi R., Sheganaku Xh., Tafilaj I., 2009 : Interna tional Hydrogeological Map of Europe , sc . 1 : 1.500.000 (Albania). Isotope study of the connection of Ohrid and Prespa Lakes. Geologica Balcanic, 32, 1. Sofia, Mart. 2002: 43 49. Eftimi R., Tafilaj I., Bisha G., Sheganaku Xh., 1985: Hydrogeological map of Albania sc. 1:200.000. Ef timi R., Zojer H., 2015: Human impact on karst aquifers of Albania. Environ Earth Sci (2015) 7: 57 704. Ford D., Williams P., 2007: Karst hydrogeology and geomorphology. John Wiley and Sons , Chiche ster: 565 p . Goldscheider N., 2005: Karst groundwater vuln era bility mapping: application of a new method in Germany. Hydrogeol . J ., 13: 556 564. Hem J. D., 1985: Study and interpretation of the che mical characteristics of natural water, 3 rd edn. US Geol. Surv. Water Supply Paper , 2254, 3 rd ed. : 264 p . Kessler H ., 1967 : Water balance investigations in the karstic regions of Hungary . In: Hydrol o gy of Fractured rocks . Dubrovnik, 1965 . AIH UNESCO : 91 105. Klimchouk A. B., Andreichuk B. N., 2010: O sush ch nost i karsta (The nature of karst) . Speleology and Karstology , 5 : 22 42. LaMoreaux P. E., Tanner J. T. ( eds ), 2001 : Springs and bottled waters of the world. Springer : 315 p. . Lombardi L, Corraza A ., 2008 : epoca antica. In La Geologia di Roma, del cen tro storico alla periferia . Part I, Memorie S erv. . LXXX, S.E.L.C.A., Firenze : 189 219. Mandel S., 1967: A conceptual model of karstic ero sion by groundwater: In: Hydrology of Fractured rocks, Dubrovnik, 1965 . AIH UNESCO : 662 664. Margat J., 1998: Les eaux souterraines dans le bas in ments BRGM , 282 : Ge Stuttgart : 246 p . Milanovic P. T., 2000: Geological engineering in karst. Zebra , Belgrade : 347 p . Rushton K. R., Ward C. J., 1979: The estimation of groundwater recharge . J. Hydrol. , 41 : 345 361. Stevanovic Z., 2010: Intake of Bolje Sestre karst spring for the regional water supply of the Mon tenegro coastal area. In: Kresic N., Stevanovic Z. (eds): Groundwater h ydrology of springs . Else vier : 457 477. Stevanovic Z., 201 4 : Some solutions and experiences in tapping coastal karstic aquifers in the Adriatic B asin . I n : Proceedings of XVV th Carpathian Bal kan Geological Association . Tirana. Steva novic Z., Eftimi R., 2010: Karstic s ources of wa ter supply for large consumers in southeastern Europe sustainability, disputes and advanta ges . Conference of Karst , Plitvice Lakes, Croatia , 2009 : 181 185.


56 Stevanovic Z., (ed.) , 2015: Karst Aquifers Cha racte rization and Engineering. Springer : 692 p . Tafilaj I., 1964: Hydrogeological condition of Uji Fto . Hydrogeological Enter prise, Tirana. (in Albanian). Touloumdjian C., 2005: The springs of Montenegro and Dinaric Karst . I n : Stev (eds): P roceedings of the International conference and field seminars, Belgrade and Kotor, 13 22 September 2005. Beograd Kotor: 443 447. ment. Ann. Agron., 5: 491 595. Xhomo A., Kodra A., Xhafa Z., Shallo M., 2002: Geological Map of Albania, scale 1 : 200,000 . AGS, Tirana. (in Albanian). Zhalov A. K., 2015: Bulgarian speleological studies in Albania 1991 2013 . Berliner he Berichte, Band 58 : 91 p . G., 1974: Karsthydrogeologie. Springer Verlag, Berlin : 291 p. Received: 04 April 2019 04 kwietnia 2019 : 17 2019


Download Options


  • info Info

    There are only PDFs associated with this resource.

  • link PDF(s)

Cite this item close


Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.


Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.


Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.


Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.