Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 2:35 PM
DETERMINING THE SOURCE OF WATER FROM CONDUIT FLOW AT BUTTERMILK FALLS, LeRoy NY
The purpose of this is to determine the source, groundwater or stream water, of conduit flow coming from Buttermilk Falls, in LeRoy NY. Buttermilk Falls is formed from Oatka Creek eroding the Onondaga escarpment and exposing the fractures and bedding plains of limestone. Oatka Creek is a karst stream that interacts with sinkholes, fractures and exposed bedrock, making it highly susceptible to groundwater surface water interactions. The hypothesis for this report is that water emerging from the conduit flows is dominated by stream flow in the summer, because there is little to no discharge over the falls. Data was collected for the conduits, groundwater and stream flow and tested for cations, anions, soluble reactive phosphorous, total phosphorous and temperature. After statistical comparison between the areas only total phosphorous, soluble reactive phosphorous, calcium, magnesium and temperature showed significant differences between the stream flow and groundwater. The temperature regimes show that deeper penetration into the surface results in lower temperatures and less diurnal variation comparable to regional subsurface temperatures. Two end member mixing models were run to calculate percentages for conduit flow and downstream flow. The mixing models showed that the conduit flow could be comprised of anywhere from 97% to 34% stream flow. The downstream mixing model showed that it could be comprised of anywhere between 91% to 45% stream water. In conclusion this report has disproved my hypothesis. My hypothesis was disproved because the conduit flow and downstream flow are complicated mixtures of both groundwater and stream flow.