GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 183-11
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


FITZPATRICK, David B.1, SIMPSON, Dakota G.1, BARNETT, Samantha2, LILES, Preston2, PEARSON, Logan2, TESTA, Maurice P.2 and LARSON, Erik B.1, (1)Department of Natural Sciences, Shawnee State University, Portsmouth, OH 45662, (2)Geosciences, University of Arkansas Fort Smith, 5210 Grand Ave, Fort Smith, AR 72913

The Hiawatha National Forest is a karst-rich region that exhibits deranged drainage as a result of Quaternary glaciation that flattened the landscape and exposed mid-Silurian carbonates. Regional groundwater flow has not yet been thoroughly examined, and that is the focus of this study. A prominent karst sink, Biscuit Sink, and spring, Biscuit Spring, were studied extensively in order to determine if a hydraulic connection exists between the two features. Biscuit Spring is approximately 425 meters NE of Biscuit Spring, the closest spring in proximity to the sink. For this reason, an association had been presumed on previous research trips, and by cartographers, between the two features.

The understanding of regional groundwater flow paths is important for understanding the geology of the Michigan Upper Peninsula, and can offer great insight into the way water behaves on, and in, an immature landscape. The determination of groundwater flow paths will also serve to help determine the groundwater influence on surficial karst features of the HNF, such as dissolutionally enlarged joints, known as grikes.

Discharge was calculated by using a stream profile and pygmy meter. These methods yielded a discharge of 0.19 m3/s at Biscuit Sink, and 0.20 m3/s at Biscuit Spring. This is strong evidence that a relationship does exist between these two features. On future research trips to the HNF, our goal is for qualitative dye tracing to be done in order to determine, with more certainty, if a connection exists between Biscuit Sink and Spring as well as determining where on the Carp River other sinks, such as prominent Petey’s Sink, supply recharge.

GPS data was collected for other sinks, particularly in the Pontchartrain Shores and Carp River areas the HNF. In a GIS, the sink location data was used to generate watershed basins and identify potential spatial relationships between the features.

The findings of this study indicate a relationship between a prominent karst sink and spring. The continued mapping of groundwater flow in the area is important to the understanding of water behavior on this immature landscape as well as what, if any, contribution groundwater has on the extensive surficial karst features of the Michigan Upper Peninsula.