GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 72-5
Presentation Time: 9:05 AM


POLK, Jason S.1, SHELLEY, Adam2, TROXELL, James3, MCKINNEY, Dallas4, LAWHON, Nick5, WILLIAMS, Abigail2, COOPER, Chloe2 and MARIĆ, Nenad6, (1)Western Kentucky University, 1906 College Heights Blvd, Bowling Green, KY 42101-1000, (2)Center for Human GeoEnvironmental Studies, Western Kentucky University, 1906 College Heights Blvd., Bowling Green, KY 42101, (3)Western Kentucky University, Center for Human GeoEnvironmental Studies, Bowling Green, KY 42101, (4)Atmospheric Sciences, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, (5)Public Works Department, City of Bowling Green, 1011 College Street, Bowling Green, KY 42102, (6)Faculty of Forestry, Department of Ecological Engineering, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, 11000, Serbia; Center for Human GeoEnvironmental Studies, Western Kentucky University, 1906 College Heights Blvd., Bowling Green, KY 42101

Karst groundwater systems are known to be highly vulnerable to human activity, including contaminant spills and flooding from poor stormwater system design and intensive development. In urban karst systems, population density and a changing climate can also exacerbate the occurrence of pollution, sinkholes, and emerging pathogens in groundwater. These cumulative impacts present a need for a scalable hazard response plan that is adaptable and tailored to managing karst aquifer systems by those responsible for their stewardship and the safety of those living upon them. Here, we present a framework for designing and implementing a plan to monitor, respond to, and mitigate the most common hazards of contamination events and flooding through an integrated GIS, modeling, and management strategy. Reviews of policies and protocols addressing karst groundwater from local to national levels, alongside review of incidences over the past several decades, including case study application of these methods for recent flooding and contamination scenarios in 2021, revealed a common set of needs and criteria from which a response plan was developed. Using interdisciplinary methods of high-resolution hydrometeorological and groundwater monitoring telemetry networks, combined with enterprise and geospatial GIS analysis and FEMA incident response design, a novel framework is presented to use emerging technologies and improved understanding of groundwater dynamics through data-driven modeling to address these issues in an adaptable manner. Results indicate a strong improvement in the process by which stakeholders can engage in protection of karst groundwater resources at all scales to prevent and remediate hazards. Successful implementation of best management practices based on this framework provides a new step toward managing and sustaining karst landscapes under increasing threat from development and extreme events, as well as addressing underlying environmental justice issues.