Dye tracing within the St. Lawrence confining unit in Southeastern Minnesota

Jeffrey A. Green, Andrew J. Luhmann, Andrew J. Peters, Anthony C. Runkel, E. Calvin Alexander, Scott C. Alexander

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Southeastern Minnesota's karst lands support numerous trout streams. These trout streams are formed by springs discharging from Paleozoic bedrock. Dye tracing has been the tool of choice for mapping the springsheds (karst groundwater basins) that feed these springs. Previous work was focused on the Galena limestone karst. In order to accelerate springshed mapping, a two-year study was funded by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR). Across southeastern Minnesota, numerous springs discharge from the Cambrian St. Lawrence formation. The St. Lawrence is considered to be a confining unit under the Minnesota well code. A dye trace was initiated when a stream sink was discovered in the upper St. Lawrence Formation. The sampling points included springs, stream crossings, and a municipal well that may be at risk for surface contamination. Dye was recovered at one spring in less than two weeks and at two other springs in less than three weeks. This translates into travel times of 200-300 meters/day. The springs all discharge from the lower St. Lawrence Formation. The St. Lawrence contains beds of dolostone; the dye trace demonstrates that there is a karst conduit flow component in this formation. This is evidence that these springs are significantly more susceptible to degradation than previously thought.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 11th Multidisciplinary Conference - Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst, GSP 183
Pages477-484
Number of pages8
Edition183
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008
Event11th Multidisciplinary Conference - Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst - Tallahassee, FL, United States
Duration: Sep 22 2008Sep 26 2008

Publication series

NameGeotechnical Special Publication
Number183
ISSN (Print)0895-0563

Other

Other11th Multidisciplinary Conference - Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst
CountryUnited States
CityTallahassee, FL
Period9/22/089/26/08

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Dye tracing within the St. Lawrence confining unit in Southeastern Minnesota'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this