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Karst and the USGS

Welcome to the USGS Karst Website. This website presents information on USGS research on karst aquifers, which are a vital groundwater resource in the United States. Here you can learn about past and current USGS karst research, with information on ongoing studies, publications, and key contacts for major karst areas. Click on an aquifer on the map below, or select one from a list of aquifers.

Upper Barton Spring, Austin, Texas Upper Barton Spring, Austin, Texas. Located in the creekbed of Barton Creek, this karst spring has been monitored by the USGS periodically. The results of those monitoring efforts have indicated that, despite being less than 1 kilometer from the much larger Main Barton Spring, its water has a substantially different major-ion and contaminant geochemistry. (Photo by Brad Garner) Read more about the Edwards Balcones Fault Zone aquifer...
Underground stream in Mammoth Cave Nat. Park Underground stream in Mammoth Cave Nat. Park. USGS scientists observe a stream located at the base of the explorable cave system. (Photo by Dan Doctor) Read more about Paleozoic karst aquifers of the Midwest...
Streamflow tracer test on a tributary to Hopewell Run near Leetown, WV Streamflow tracer test on a tributary to Hopewell Run near Leetown, WV. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency scientist Malcolm Field conducts this test. It was conducted to assess potential leakage of stream water to the karst aquifer in the northern Shenandoah Valley of West Virginia. (Photo by Carol Boughton) Read more about karst aquifers of the Valley and Ridge, Piedmont, and Blue Ridge province...
Loss of water from the Peace River through underlying conduit during low-flow period, May 2004 Loss of water from the Peace River through underlying conduit during low-flow period, May 2004. The Peace River in this area is characterized by shallow, sometimes exposed carbonate units, with karst features that vary in type and size and include sinkholes, subsidence depressions, dissolution pipes, and enlarged fractures. (from Spechler and Kroening, 2006) Read more about the Upper Floridan and Biscayne aquifers...
Sinkholes from subsidence event, Florida, February 1998
Sinkholes from subsidence event, Florida, February 1998. Over 700 sinkholes formed over a 20-acre area in response to well drilling. A well had been drilled about 20 feet into a cavity, when air-lift well-development methods began being used. Immediately after, small sinkholes started appearing in the surrounding area. Subsidence continued for several hours, with sinkholes closest to the well expanding to become the largest in the area. (Photo by Ann Tihansky) Read more about the Upper Floridan and Biscayne aquifers...

This website allows you to browse for karst reports and articles authored by USGS researchers, and find links for other karst resources. There is also an overview of karst and its properties.

This website is maintained by members of the USGS Karst Interest Group, whose (KIG), who investigate karst across the United States.

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Page Last Modified: Monday, 30-Jan-2012 16:39:46 EST