Conference Paper

Time series hydrologic monitoring within karst aquifers of Key Cave and Cathedral Caverns, Alabama

Ponta, G.M.L., McGregor, S.W. and Blackwood, R.

Record Number:
4705
Year:
2020
Pages:
53-67
Abstract:
Key Cave, located in the Tennessee River drainage in south-central Lauderdale County Alabama, about 8 km southwest of Florence, is in an area underlain by the Mississippian Tuscumbia Limestone and Fort Payne Chert. Key Cave and the immediate vicinity comprise the Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge, designated for protection of an assortment of federally-protected and state conservation priority species [among others, the federally endangered Alabama Cavefish (Speoplatyrhinus poulsoni), Alabama Cave Shrimp (Palaemonias alabamae), and Gray Bat (Myotis grisescens]. Cathedral Caverns, also located in the Tennessee River drainage, is located approximately 8.0 km northeast of Grant in Marshall County, Alabama, in area underlain by the Mississippian Bangor and Monteagle limestones. Cathedral Caverns and the immediate vicinity comprise a state park open to the public. Cathedral Caverns also has a diverse aquatic fauna, but none of its members are currently afforded protection. The groundwater monitoring goal is to evaluate the vertical movement of water through the aquifers that host the two cave systems and to monitor long-term and short-term groundwater responses to climate variability and change. Time series groundwater data were collected using one pressure transducer in Key Cave and pressure transducers installed in two nearby wells. A single pressure transducer was also used at Cathedral Caverns. A rain gage was installed at each site to collect data to evaluate water-level responses to precipitation events. Reservoir pool level of Pickwick Lake of the Tennessee River, adjacent and hydraulically connected to Key Cave, was provided by the Tennessee Valley Authority. Streamflow was measured at Cathedral Caverns in the cave and at a spring outflow. The purpose of these studies was to delineate the recharge area and aquifer characteristics of each cave to enable local, state, and federal agencies and interested citizens to develop, manage, and protect the water resources that support these species.
Times Cited:
2
Conference Name:
16th Sinkhole Conference NCKRI Symposium 8
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