State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2012KY205B
Title: Fate and transport of herbicides in karst autogenic recharge of Kentucky's Mississippian Plateau
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2012
End Date: 2/28/2013
Congressional District: KY 2nd
Focus Categories: Solute Transport, Groundwater, Non Point Pollution
Keywords: groundwater, epikarst, atrazine
Principal Investigator: Groves, Chris
Federal Funds: $ 5,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 10,237
Abstract: The purpose of this research is to clarify the timing and spatial characteristics of infiltration, storage, and transport of herbicides following real-world spring application within the well developed karst aquifer/landscape of the Mississippian Plateau within the Graham Springs Groundwater Basin in Kentucky. The field site is Crumps Cave in northern Warren County, Kentucky, a large horizontal cave that passes under active row crop and cattle farming. Several areas in the cave have perennial waterfalls formed as subsurface drains beneath the shallow water storage of the epikarstic zone in the vicinity of the soil bedrock interface. We will monitor herbicides through the system before and after spring application, addressing these questions 1) what are relative contributions of soil versus epikarst storage in the retardation of herbicides before entering the main part of the karst aquifer after application?; 2) what can the timing and spatial distribution of movement of the related compounds explain about relationship between chemical properties and transport into and through the soil, epikarst, and the main part of the karst aquifer?; and 3) what is, and how do transport mechanisms impact, the critical loss period for herbicides through the karst system and into the Barren River?

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