Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2016FL328B

Development of Methods for Quantifying Water and Contaminant Fluxes in Karst Systems

Institute: Florida
Year Established: 2016 Start Date: 2016-03-01 End Date: 2019-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $89,623 Total Non-Federal Funds: $178,173

Principal Investigators: Mark Newman, Kirk Hatfield

Abstract: This project will develop more robust methods for direct in-situ measurement of water and contaminant fluxes within karst systems. Groundwater aquifers such as the Floridan aquifer are highly productive due to their karst nature (composed of large dissolution conduits resulting in high hydraulic conductivities). The Floridan Aquifer is a critical water resource for Florida, Georgia, and Alabama (used for municipal, agricultural, and industrial water supply). However, the high conductivities that make karst systems so productive also make them extremely susceptible to contaminant transport from both surface and subsurface sources. The karst nature of such systems also presents significant challenges for accurate assessment of current conditions and reliable forecasting of future conditions when stressed by extreme events (e.g. droughts, flood, storm surge). The objective of this project will be to evaluate existing methods for estimating karst flows in order to develop new tools for direct measurement of water and contaminant fluxes that will incorporate procedures for determining the associated measurement uncertainties.