2006 Philadelphia Annual Meeting (22–25 October 2006)

Paper No. 5
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


CROCKETT, Carrie1, GROVES, Chris2, KAMBESIS, Patricia2, HENRICKSON, Melissa2 and GAO, Yongli1, (1)Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geology, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN 37614, (2)Department of Geography and Geology, Hoffman Environmental Rsch Institute, Western Kentucky University, 1 Big Red Way, Bowling Green, KY 42101, carrie.crockett@gmail.com

Land use and epikarst storage relationships were modelled in an ongoing study at Cave Spring Caverns, Kentucky. This cave has formed in the upper Mississippian St. Louis Limestone of the Pennyroyal Plateau with a layer of Lost River Chert approximately 2-3 meters thick above the cave's limestone. Spatial and temporal variations in this karst aquifer are determined by changes of water chemistry and recharge rates. The objective of the study is to understand the storage and flow of groundwater in a karst environment while identifying contaminant sources that enter into the karst aquifer. Three waterfalls in the cave were sampled weekly and tested for various characteristics. Above ground, a small weather station recorded weather parameters such as precipitation and temperature. A rainfall gauge at Waterfall A was connected to pipes with probes. The probes continuously recorded temperature, pH, specific conductance (spC), time, date and flow. Water samples from the waterfalls were found to have significant chemical signatures directly related to land-use activities. Dye tracing has been conducted to answer our hypothesis of the waterfalls recharge areas. The contaminants transported by conduit flow can negatively affect large areas in a short period of time. This study may lead to practical applications that reduce the impact of farming and other surface activities on groundwater resources.