KWRRI Research Reports


An eighteen month study of the Toyota Motor Manufacturing (TMM) plant site and the surrounding area was undertaken. The basic charge for this project was to characterize the groundwater that is potentially impacted by the TMM plant site. This included occurrence, flow direction, and, if possible, velocity. Because the area is karstified (has sinkholes, springs, caves, etc.) surface water and groundwater are intimately connected and, hence, surface water was frequently an important component of this work.

Data from TMM construction plans and monitoring work done subsequent to construction were elicited from the various repositories within the TMM infrastructure. Aerial color photographs were acquired from various government agencies. Maps were constructed from the various data sources and data "layers" were combined to provide a complete picture of the plant site with respect to geology and groundwater. Fracture trace analysis and field reconnaissance was performed. Fifty-one sinkholes were found onsite, 182 in the entire study area. Several springs, both onsite and offsite, were discovered. Dye trace analysis was performed to determine connectivity and help to build a conceptual model of the subsurface flow system. Existing chemical analysis was complemented with chemical analysis done by the University of Kentucky.

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Funding Information

This study was supported by funding from Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Inc., the Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute, and the Kentucky Geological Survey.