GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 114-1
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


ALBRIGHT, Lydia and SPRINGER, Greg, Geological Sciences, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701

This study sought to determine the major sources of energy loss in a narrow bedrock stream by continuously monitoring discharge and water surface profiles. The instrumental data is used to create a hydraulic model of an open conduit, high gradient, narrow, slot canyon-like cave. Data was collected by creating a stage-discharge relationship, cave surveys, and monitoring stream depths using pressure transducers. The stage-discharge relationship used to model stream flow was created by measuring discharge at multiple stages. Six pressure transducers were deployed opportunistically low on cave walls along a 94 meter long reach roughly 90 meters inside Fuller's Cave, Greenbrier County, West Virginia. To correct for changes in atmospheric pressure, a seventh probe was deployed outside the cave. The cave is highly susceptible to flooding due to its geometry with adequate rainfall and is therefore a good candidate for creating a hydraulic stream model during floods. When water flows in an open channel, energy is lost through friction along the banks and bed of the channel and through turbulence within the channel. The data results in real friction factors, head loss, and energy gradients that we input into a modeling program to produce an accurate representation of the flooded cave. Such hydraulic modeling can be used to better visualize flooding events which can reproduce unobserved floods, and simulate flow in similar environments. This will allow for better study of sediment transport, shear forces, and factors that affect flow in open conduit caves.