Paper No. 92-2
Presentation Time: 8:25 AM
HYDROLOGY OF THE SINKING CREEK/MUDDY CREEK KARST BASIN, GREENBRIER COUNTY, WV
Muddy Creek represents the resurgence of Sinking and Hughart Creeks with a catchment of about 104 square kilometers in central Greenbrier County, West Virginia. The combined flow of Sinking and Hughart Creeks appears in a large karst window just south of I-64. This karst window floods to depths of 24 meters (80 feet) or more during high water and is locally known as “Interstate Lake”. This water reappears at Piercys Mill Cave (the head of Muddy Creek) under low-flow conditions. Water level loggers were established at the two sinking streams, the stream in the karst window, and the two cave resurgences to monitor the response of the karst drainage system to storm events. With rising water levels a threshold is reached Piercys Mill Cave at a discharge of about 2.55 CMS (90 CFS) and excess water is shunted to Piercys Cave about 300 meters (1000 feet) downstream. The flow from Piercys Mill Cave does not exceed a maximum value of about 5.66 CMS (200 CFS). The straight-line distance from Sinking Creek to Piercys Mill Cave is about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) and a tracer tests showed a range of travel times between 15 hours under average flow conditions to 85 hours at very low flow.