Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM
OSTRACODES AND FLOW PATHS IN THE KARST LANDSCAPE OF WEST VIRGINIA
Preliminary study of 10 springs in the karst landscape of eastern West Virgina shows a diverse assemblage of ostracodes (microscopic crustaceans). The springs are located in Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan Counties, and have discharge rates ranging from 40 to 6500 gpm, and several represent significant sources of drinking water for the region. In general, species richness increases with discharge rate, and each spring has an assemblage distinct from every other. Both hypogean and epigean species exist in the springs, although springs with the greatest flow rates have deep aquifer species including Nannocandona and Schellencandona spp. Species found here that are typically associated with springs include Cavernocypris wardi, Darwinula sp., Candona sigmoides, Candona candida, Fabaeformiscandona wedgelini, Strandesia sp., and Cypridopsis okeechobei. Species typically associated with surface water (e.g. streams, temporary ponds) and found here include Ilyocypris bradyi and Cypria ophtalmica.
Water temperatures lie within a narrow range of 12 to 14º C, specific conductance values lie between 321 and 686 uS (at 25º C), and alkalinity values range from 103 to 235 mg/l CaCO3. An exception here is that of the well-known Berkeley Springs, with a temperature of 23º C, and alkalinity value of 84 mg/l CaCO3. The wide variety of species found in these ten springs is not apparently linked to the hydrochemistry or temperature values, but rather indicates local and separate groundwater catchments and flow paths. These preliminary results, when augmented by oxygen and carbon isotope results, should shed light on the nature of the sources and flow paths for these important springs.