State Water Resources Research Institute Program


Project ID: 2012KY208B
Title: Determining groundwater flow velocities and discharge rate at the Kentucky Horse Park Royal Spring conduit monitoring station
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2012
End Date: 2/28/2013
Congressional District: KY 6th
Focus Categories: Hydrology, Groundwater
Keywords: dye tracing, mass flux, karst hydrology, TMDL
Principal Investigator: Currens, James C. (University of Kentucky)
Federal Funds: $ 5,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 10,068
Abstract: The Kentucky Geological Survey has established a monitoring station in the main stem of the Royal Spring karst conduit at the Kentucky Horse Park north of Lexington, Kentucky. This project seeks to determine a more precise stage-discharge rating curve for the calculation of the contaminant flux through the conduit (a required component of the total maximum daily load for the Cane Run watershed). An improved measurement of the cross-sectional area of the conduit and a determination of the mean velocity across the conduit under a range of flow conditions are needed. The project will conduct repeated groundwater tracer injections using fluorscein dye to measure the true mean flow velocity in the conduit under a variety of flow conditions. Dye dilution experiments using Rhodamine Wt will be conducted simultaneously to estimate discharge. By determining the discharge and the flow velocity at the monitoring station at the same time, the cross-sectional area of the flow zone will be indicated and a rating curve for the stage-discharge relationship can be established. The resulting data will also be useful to calculate the hydrograph recession coefficient for the conduit system.

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