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  • Author or Editor: László Márkus x
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The fluctuation of underground karstwater levels constitutes an inherently random, very complex time-dependent phenomenon further complicated when human interference disturbs the natural course. However, its structure can be explored by identifying only a few latent effects or factors (usually of significantly simpler dynamic structure), that are the driving forces behind it. The correct statistical tool to determine latent effects from the temporally interdependent observations is dynamic factor analysis (DFA). Analogously to ordinary factor analysis, DFA also determines loadings representing the measure of intensity of the latent effect corresponding to the factor. The obtained factor-intensities provide essential information on the geologic environment, improving the chance of correct decisions when environmental issues are on the agenda. In the given case the factors correspond to the infiltration and water extraction; hence, the intensities appear to be connected to aquifer vulnerability. Intensive water extraction increases the danger of contamination of an aquifer, since overpumping may establish contact with a distant, already polluted storage. High-intensity infiltration also increases vulnerability by helping local entry of any surface contaminant into the aquifer. Hence, the loadings and the measure of intensity can be regarded as important markers of vulnerability of the aquifer.

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