Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Stephen Kenworthy (Director), Dr. Chris Groves, Dr. C. Warren Campbell, Dr. L. Michael Trapasso

Degree Program

Department of Geography and Geology

Degree Type

Master of Science


Understanding the potential for karst aquifer contamination by sediment-sorbed pesticides is important for cave conservation efforts in agricultural landscapes. Flow rate, water quality parameters and suspended sediment concentrations were measured in Logsdon River, a ~10km karst conduit within the Turnhole Spring Groundwater Basin of Mammoth Cave National Park to determine characteristics of storm-period transport of sediment-sorbed atrazine through a conduit-flow karst aquifer.

Analysis of two independent precipitation events occurring in the Spring of 2008 from May 2-4 and May 27-29 demonstrated the rapid response of the Logsdon River to precipitation events with detections of atrazine increasing during the initial turbidity peak and decline in spC, indicating that the atrazine arrives with the initial flush of surface waters that enters the conduit. Distinct peaks of atrazine did not coincide with fine grained (silt and clay-sized) sediment peaks and concentrations of atrazine remained elevated on the falling limb of the hydrograph as turbidity declined. In addition, no systematic relation between filtered and unfiltered samples was evident. There was also exceedingly weak correlation between the concentration of atrazine and suspended sediment, suggesting that if atrazine is sorbed to fine sediment particles this sorption involves only the fractions finer than 0.22 μm.


Geology | Natural Resources and Conservation | Natural Resources Management and Policy