Water from upland areas flows to small ephemeral and perennial springs that feed sinking streams that are tributary to low-order cave streams. These cave streams, also recharged by diffuse percolation, are part of a dendritic network in which intermediate-order streams join high-order streams that flow to major trunk streams. The trunk in the Mill Hole Sub-basin flows across the bottom of a large karst window, Mill Hole, and joins the trunk of the Patoka Creek Sub-basin. Their combined discharge bifurcates, flows around the collapsed central core of a larger karst window, Cedar Sink, and re-joins to flow as one to Turnhole Spring, along the south bank of Green River. The location of the major trunk streams can be inferred from the position and orientation of well-defined troughs in the piezometric surface. Flow velocities over the same 5-mile distance, erroneously assuming a straight path from Parker Cave to Mill Hole, range from 60 to 1100 ft per hour--depending on whether discharge is at flood or base flow conditions. Actual velocity extremes are probably lower and higher.
Supported in part by funding from the United States Department of the Interior as authorized under the Water Resources Research Act of 1964.
Quinlan, James F. and Rowe, Donald R., "Hydrology and Water Quality in the Central Kentucky Karst: Phase II Part A: Preliminary Summary of the Hydrogeology of the Mill Hole Sub-Basin of the Turnhole Spring Groundwater Basin" (1978). KWRRI Research Reports. 203.