Southeastern Section - 68th Annual Meeting - 2019

Paper No. 31-1
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


CAPPS, Charles Stephen, Department of Earth Sciences, Tennessee Tech University, Box 5062, Cookeville, TN 38505

Numerous karst solution valleys are found along the Cumberland Plateau Escarpment in Middle Tennessee. Many of these valleys contain sinking streams, whose drainage basin areas are unknown. Dye tracing will be used to determine if Walker Hollow and Dry Hollow discharge to Spring Creek, Hurricane Creek, West Fork Obey River, or the Falling Water River. Both Spring Creek and Roaring River are designated as State Scenic Rivers and the watershed area of the Roaring River includes Cummins Falls State Park and The Boils State Wildlife Management Area. The elevations of dye injection sites in Walker Hollow and Dry Hollow are 384 m and 341 m, respectively. The possible outlet springs are 150 to 290 m below the dye injection points, with an average distance of 9 km between injection sites and springs. The proposed dye trace will fill a void in knowledge about the actual contributing area of these important streams. So far, we have used LiDAR data from the State of Tennessee within ArcGIS to create sinkhole maps for each solution valley. We then field checked the sinkholes to determine a dye injection point for each valley. Qualitative dye tracing will be done by placing charcoal packets at each spring location. Charcoal packets will be used to measure background fluorescence and then changed out every 24 hours after dye injection. The main goal from this project is to delineate the drainage basins from these large sinking valleys that have not been traced previously. Watershed delineation for these sinking streams will be helpful in the event of future groundwater contamination problems and in estimating flood peak discharges.