||Vulnerability of Karst Aquifers to Chemical Contamination.
Field, M. S. ;
||Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC. Office of Health and Environmental Assessment.
Water pollution ;
Ground water ;
Water flow ;
Water wells ;
Water table ;
||Most EPA libraries have a fiche copy filed under the call number shown. Check with individual libraries about paper copy.
Ground water flow in karst aquifers is very different from flow in granular or fractured aquifers. Karst ground water flow is often turbulent within discrete conduits that are convergent in the upper reaches and divergent in the lower, simulating the flow pattern of surface water streams that are dendritic or trellised but with discharge to one or more springs. Significant precipitation tends to flood karst aquifers quickly, causing a rapid rise in the water table that may flood higher levels with discharge to different springs. The vulnerability of karst aquifers to chemical contamination is a result of these characteristics. The convergent nature of flow in karst aquifers may result in contamination becoming concentrated in conduits. These contaminants can affect delicate plant and animal life that exists in caves as well as contaminate drinking water supplies too rapidly for adequate warning.