2002 Denver Annual Meeting (October 27-30, 2002)

Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


GAO, Yongli1, ALEXANDER Jr, E. Calvin1, TIPPING, Robert G.2 and GREEN, Jeffrey A.3, (1)Geology and Geophysics, Univ of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, (2)Minnesota Geological Survey, Univ of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55114, (3)Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Rochester, MN 55906, gaox0011@umn.edu

The karst lands of southeastern Minnesota present ongoing challenges to environmental planners and researchers and have been the focus of a series of research projects and studies by researchers for over 30 years. As GIS, GPS, and web tools became more accessible to resource managers in the 1990s, the need for a statewide, web-accessible, and GIS-compatible karst feature inventory and database has become increasingly evident. A GIS-based database management system was developed to manage and analyze karst feature inventories at both county and statewide scales. Our research focused on the development of the GIS-based Karst Feature Database of Southeastern Minnesota, statistical analyses and hypotheses tests of karst feature distribution and sinkhole formation, and 2D and 3D visualization of karst feature distribution using data from the karst feature database. Hydrogeologic, dye trace, and chemical and isotopic data are included in the database.

The main goals of this interdisciplinary research are as follows: 1) to look for large-scale patterns in the sinkhole distribution; 2) to conduct statistical tests of hypotheses about the occurrence of sinkholes; 3) to develop geomorphic and hydrogeologic criteria for land-use decisions in karst areas of southeastern Minnesota and to encourage those criteria’s incorporation into relevant environmental regulations; and 4) to develop GIS and database management tools for land-use planners and karst researchers aimed at establishing karst feature databases - at both regional and national scales.