Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Assessing the optimal balance between environmental protection and economic use of mineral and spring groundwater resources – a case study of the Rogaška Slatina fractured aquifer system

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.06.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Geology   

Code Science Field
P005  Natural sciences and mathematics  Geology, physical geography 
Rogaška Slatina area; drinking and mineral water resources; groundwater dynamics and solute transport; exploitation and protection; integrated approach; sustainable management
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (13)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  16309  PhD Miloš Bavec  Geology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  433 
2.  03611  Miran Bizjak  Geology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  58 
3.  19124  PhD Bogomir Celarc  Geology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  325 
4.  19280  PhD Mitja Janža  Geology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  446 
5.  03473  MSc Venčeslav Lapajne  Chemistry  Researcher  2008 - 2011  715 
6.  17541  MSc Andrej Lapanje  Geology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  743 
7.  17245  Tomislav Matoz    Technical associate  2008 - 2011 
8.  21384  PhD Matevž Novak  Geology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  416 
9.  28455  PhD Nina Rman  Geology  Junior researcher  2008 - 2011  956 
10.  12278  PhD Maja Rupnik  Microbiology and immunology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  689 
11.  11339  PhD Robert Šajn  Geology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  505 
12.  13034  PhD Branka Trček  Control and care of the environment  Head  2008 - 2011  228 
13.  08838  PhD Ernest Vončina  Chemistry  Researcher  2008 - 2011  386 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0215  Geological Survey of Slovenia  Ljubljana  5051410000  11,203 
The fractured aquifer system with mineral and drinking water will be studied into detail in the area of Rogaška Slatina, as well as the origin and genesis of Rogaška groundwaters, their dynamics and solute transport through individual aquifers and among them. For this purpose complex geological, hydrogeological, chemical, geochemical, isotopic and microbiological investigations will be performed (and integrated with results of previous investigations and with administrative and economic needs) with the aim 1) to establish a data base, connected with a GIS-system; 2) to construct a hydrological model that will provide the ability to simulate flow and solute transport in the observed aquifer system, particularly in dependence on discharge; 3) to asses the optimal balance between environmental protection and economic use of Rogaška groundwaters; 4) to prepare guidelines/recommendations for a long-term strategy for efficient management of Rogaška mineral and spring waters; 5) to establish a network of project partners with continuous information flow, where other research and business partners will be invited; 6) to verify the research methodology in other fractured aquifer systems with mineral and spring waters - particularly in Slovenia and Austria; 7) to prepare schemes and recommendations for supplementation of the existent guidelines for a) implementation of monitoring at water bodies with mineral and spring waters and b) their sustainable management; 8) to publish and disseminate the results of the proposed project in national and international spheres.
Significance for science
Basic field geological investigations are performed in the framework of the ARRS research program Regional geology. The study area of this project is not included in the mentioned program. However, the new field data will be applied for construction of the new basic geological map of Slovenia. Owing to a very complicated tectonic setting, the northern part of the Sheet Rogatec of the Basic geological map of SFRJ is one of those that need emendation. Hence, the results of the proposed project answered many unsolved questions concerning the structural-geological settings of the study area and consequently also its hydrogeological settings. The most important new scientific finding refers to the northern carbonate contact of the Boč massif that significantly influences the hydrodynamic processes of groundwaters in the study area, particularly mineral waters. Since the Boč-Plešivec massif represents the Karavanke mountain edge, important information could be obtained also in a regional level. They should be upgraded with additional investigations. The geological structure of the eastern part of the Boč-Plešives massif has remained unclear, which requires the use of complex geophysical methods and techniques. The described structure played an important role in a construction of the study area hydrological model, which proved the project research hypothesis – that the catchment area of Rogaška mineral waters is in the Boč massif. The recharge process is related to carbonate rocks. The isotopic investigations indicated that the mean residence time of mineral waters varies between 7200 and 3400 years, while the mean residence time of thermomineral water is 14000 years. Information on applicability of the state-of-the-art chemical, biological and isotopic methods and techniques for studies of mineral water origin and flow and of solute transport in fractured aquifer systems are topical in the international research sphere. The results haven’t contributed only to the new scientific views on hydrodynamics processes in a fractured aquifer system, but also to the understanding of physical-chemical and biological properties. The analysis of biomarker compounds, presented in mineralized waters, were very important, as they indicated finger prints of the origin of mineralized waters. The biomarkers were formed under different conditions during different geological periods, so they have an unique composition, which is typical for pure source water. All compounds that were analyzed in mineral and thermomineral waters have a geogenic origin (constant and characteristic composition) and no anthropogenic impacts were detected. The origin of geogenic diamantoide compounds (such as compounds of basic adamantans and their derivates) would concern a spatial attention for father investigations.
Significance for the country
The large-scale geological maps (1:5000) that show the spatial distribution of geological structures and lithological units and include their detailed description resulted from our project. They represent the essential bases for geomechanical, hydrogeological, geo-engineering and environmental studies and could be used for vulnerability assessment analyses of the study area. The dissccuesed data were upgraded with the 3D geological model and the hydrological model of the fractured aquifer system in the Rogaška Slatina area, which is an important tool for the project cofinancer, Droga Kolinsk d.d., as well as for other institution that exploitate mineral, thermomineral and spring water from the study area (waterwarks companies, spa turism, industry and households). It could be used for simulations of the aquifer system behaviour during further exploitatin and for assessent of the optimal balance between environmental protection and economic use of mineralised and spring groundwater resources. Furthermore the model could be used for risk assesment analyses of different project into the aquifer system and for determination of new locations for groundwater exploitation. The project joints scientific and industrial work and thus strengthen a further co-operation through the network of project partners. Hence, the project was supplemented with researches of the international project K-net water, Phasing out programme - A.1.4 Water for beverage industry applying best management practices. The research area has a great potential for Slovene international recognition. Mineral waters are classified as natural heritage, hence the project results contributes to preservation and protection of this natural heritage. It should be stressed that Rogaška Slatina is famous by mineral water, which was discovered in this place in the time of Old Romans. In the middle of 19th century Rogaška Slatina was not only the worldwide known spa, but also the third largest world supplier of mineral water. Indirectly the project results contributed also to public health, recognized through medicinal properties of mineral waters. Furthermore all interesting geological structures, minerals and fossils are evidenced on geological maps, which have an additional value in protection of natural heritage of the study area. The international project team included also measures for sustainable development implementation into the research program. The results provide directives for sustainable exploitation of aquifers with mineral and spring water and for implementation of the quantity and quality monitoring. Definition of geogenic components of natural mineral waters and determination of criteria for estimation their original purity are the basis for EU regulation on natural mineral waters and for promotion of the Slovene natural mineral waters excellence. The presentation of results to the international society will contribute to international recognition of Slovenia, particularly in connection with the natural heritage preservation.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2008, 2009, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2008, 2009, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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