Characterization and hydraulic behaviour of the complex karst of the Kaibab Plateau and Grand Canyon National Park, USA
Casey J. R. Jones, Abraham E. Springer, Benjamin W. Tobin, Sarah J. Zappitello, Natalie A. Jones, 2018. "Characterization and hydraulic behaviour of the complex karst of the Kaibab Plateau and Grand Canyon National Park, USA", Advances in Karst Research: Theory, Fieldwork and Applications, M. Parise, F. Gabrovsek, G. Kaufmann, N. Ravbar
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The Kaibab Plateau and Grand Canyon National Park in the USA contain both shallow and deep karst systems, which interact in ways that are not well known, although recent studies have allowed better interpretations of this unique system. Detailed characterization of sinkholes and their distribution on the surface using geographical information system and LiDAR data can be used to relate the infiltration points to the overall hydrogeological system. Flow paths through the deep regional geological structure were delineated using non-toxic fluorescent dyes. The flow characteristics of the coupled aquifer system were evaluated using hydrograph recession curve analysis via discharge data from Roaring Springs, the sole source of the water supply for the Grand Canyon National Park. The interactions between these coupled surface and deep karst systems are complex and challenging to understand. Although the surface karst behaves in much the same way as karst in other similar regions, the deep karst has a base flow recession coefficient an order of magnitude lower than many other karst aquifers throughout the world. Dye trace analysis reveals rapid, conduit-dominated flow that demonstrates fracture connectivity along faults between the surface and deep karst. An understanding of this coupled karst system will better inform aquifer management and research in other complex karst systems.
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Karst landscapes and karst aquifers are composed of a variety of soluble rocks, such as salt, gypsum, anhydrite, limestone, dolomite and quartzite. They are fascinating areas of exploration, study and research. As karst rocks are abundant on the Earth’s surface, the fast evolution of karst landscapes and the rapid flow of water through karst aquifers present many challenges from a number of different perspectives. This collection of 25 papers deals with different aspects of these challenges, including karst geology, geomorphology and speleogenesis, karst hydrogeology, karst modelling, and karst hazards and management. Together these papers provide a state-of-the-art review of the current challenges and solutions we face in describing karst from a scientific perspective, while at the same time providing useful data and information for managing karst territories to land planners, developers, and managers of show caves, natural parks and reserves in karst terrains.