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Sinkholes: A Direct and Rapid Conduit for Surface Water to Groundwater The Importance of Sinkholes to Groundwater Sanitation in Karst Environments. BY: Chris Roth. Purpose. To show the importance of sinkholes Review methods of study Review possible solutions for sinkhole contamination.

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by chris roth

Sinkholes: A Direct and Rapid Conduit for Surface Water to Groundwater The Importance of Sinkholes to Groundwater Sanitation in Karst Environments

BY: Chris Roth

purpose
Purpose
  • To show the importance of sinkholes
  • Review methods of study
  • Review possible solutions for sinkhole contamination
why care
Why Care?
  • Protect the planet
  • 25% of earths water is from karst aquifers
  • 10-15% of earth is classified as karst
  • Land usage planning

Image from State of Florida Hydrology Department

what is a sinkhole
What is a Sinkhole
  • natural depressions formed by the removal of subsurface soil and rock
  • Like a funnel
  • Common in karst areas – soft limestone bedrock

Photo by D. Buffington

sinkhole effects lack of filtration
Sinkhole Effects(lack of filtration)

No sinkhole

  • Direct route for surface water to ground water
  • Little if any natural filtering
  • Fast spreading mechanism

With a sinkhole

Images from University of Florida Hydrology Department

sinkhole effects spreading mechanism
Sinkhole Effects(spreading mechanism)
  • Tracer testing showed spreading of 1-3 miles within a few hours
  • The same study was done in a non-karst landscape and showed spreading of under 1 mile within half a day.
groundwater sensitivity
Groundwater Sensitivity
  • vulnerability of groundwater to contamination
  • Taditional: rock type and water table elevations
  • Karst: traditional + Sinkhole distribution

Image provided by:

BGSU graduate student Ryan Dickerson

sinkhole distribution mapping man vs gis
Sinkhole Distribution MappingMan vs. GIS
  • Man – handcount as compared to past maps of sinkhole distribution
  • GIS (Geographic information systems) – can be set to automatically count sinkholes based on specific parameters of what constitutes a sinkhole
  • While a GIS program takes longer to create, once created counts can be done in a quarter of the time it takes to manually count.
gis problems
GIS problems
  • Conversion errors - vector to raster
  • Simplification errors – the “zoom effect”
  • Fake peaks and dips
  • Satellite imaging errors
solutions to sinkhole contamination sinkhole filter
Solutions to Sinkhole Contamination(Sinkhole Filter)
  • concrete plug, perforated PVC pipe wrapped in filter fabric extending through the plug, crushed rock to fill in, then soil and grass cover
  • In one study fecal caliform was reduced up to 96%
  • Sediment related contaminants (phosphorus and some pesticides)
  • NOT FOR SOLUBALE CONTAMINANTS

Picture from AFSRC

solutions to sinkhole contamination nutrient management
Solutions to Sinkhole Contamination(Nutrient Management)
  • Common
  • First, sample and test water
  • Then, chemically treating imbalances of contaminants in the water

Photo from US Water Quality Department

conclusion
Conclusion
  • Sinkholes must be understood
    • allows for contaminants to rapidly enter and spread throughout the groundwater
  • 3D GIS may help create better hydrologic models and increase understanding
  • Steps must be taken to preserve out Groundwater
    • Filters, nutrient management, and good conservation efforts