Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2015KY243B

Investigation of source, fate, and transport of sediments in a karst dominated watershed

Institute: Kentucky
Year Established: 2015 Start Date: 2015-03-01 End Date: 2016-02-29
Total Federal Funds: $5,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $10,000

Principal Investigators: James Fox

Abstract: A framework using conceptual models will be developed to understand the physical and hydrobiogeochemical processes occurring in the Cane Run watershed. The conceptual model will be framed using previous research in the basin and models described in the literature. We will add sediment losses due to upwelling and diversion of subsurface waters using a sediment mass balance formula based upon a coupled unsteady flow stream reach model with a subsurface pipe-network model. A tracer fingerprinting method with isotope analysis will be used to analyze sediment source and fate in the Cane Run system. A new field-based sensor network using wireless environmental sensors will be created to collect data and validate models by applying wireless velocity bend sensors that can calculate time-averaged velocity and turbulence for karst swallets. Finally, scaled experiments of the karst system will be performed in the hydrosystems laboratory to fundamentally advance scientific theory related to karst hydraulics.