KWRRI Research Reports


Groundwater flow in many karst regions, including the Inner Bluegrass Karst Region of central Kentucky in which the study area was located, is unlike groundwater flow in granular aquifers. At least the major flows are turbulent and often with a free surface in large conduits, and applying concepts based on Darcy's Law to describe and model these flows is inappropriate. Parameters such as linear velocity, channel geometry, and conveyance used to describe surface streamflows are more applicable, and the primary objective of the project was to estimate these in a groundwater basin using the travel time of dye slugs and discharges obtained by dye dilution. These data were also needed to determine the travel time-discharge relationship required to manage contaminent-spills and evaluate methods of enhancing low flows in the basin, the second and third objective of the project. These latter two objectives are of importance because the flow in the Royal Spring groundwater basin that was investigated is used as a municipal water supply.

Due to equipment malfunction and weather conditions, good data was collected only during the final six weeks of the project. Because this report was required to be submitted by the end of the project, evaluation of the data and estimation of the parameters has not yet been completed. Preliminary results indicate that the data will permit such parameter estimation and have suggested methods of increasing the amount of water available during low-flow periods.

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Funding Information

The research on which this report is based was financed in part by the U.S. Department of the Interior, as authorized by the Water Research and Development Act of 1978 (P.L. 95-467).