Southeastern Section - 54th Annual Meeting (March 17–18, 2005)

Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 4:00 PM


CROSKREY, Andrea and GROVES, Chris, Department of Geography and Geology, Hoffman Environmental Rsch Institute, Western Kentucky University, 1 Big Red Way, Bowling Green, KY 42101,

Groundwater sensitivity is the susceptibility of groundwater resources to contamination as a result of the inherent characteristics of the aquifer and overlying media. In the fall of 2004, groundwater sensitivity mapping for the 30’ x 60’ quadrangles of Beaver Dam and Campbellsville, Kentucky was completed. Many methods were looked at to produce these maps.

In 1985 DRASTIC was created by Aller et al. to make available an objective format to evaluate groundwater sensitivity and provide an index so areas could be contrasted. Due to the inability of DRASTIC to adequately rank some regions in Kentucky, primarily regions with karst geomorphology, Ray and O’dell applied a new technique entitled DIVERSITY in 1993. They created a 1:500,000 scale groundwater sensitivity map that divided the Commonwealth of Kentucky into five hydrogeologic sensitivity regions.

Though DIVERSITY gave a more appropriate ranking for karst regions, the map was at too small a scale to assist in land-use planning. Thus, a rubric focused on lithology and topography was used to create maps at a scale of 1:100,000. The process was done digitally using GIS and utilized the Digitally Vectorized Geologic Quadrangles (DVGQ’s) put out by the Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS). We also wanted to consider overland flow of contaminates off low permeability caprock onto high sensitivity areas, a phenomenon that could occur around the Pennyroyal Sinkhole Plain and seems to be unaccounted for using methods such as DRASTIC and DIVERSITY. In the end, we hope to reach the long term goal of developing 1:24,000 scale maps for all of Kentucky that would appropriately articulate the groundwater sensitivity for land-use planning.