Karst regions typically are considered to be vulnerable with respect to various land-use activities, owing to the intimate association of surface and groundwater and lack of contaminant attenuation provided by most karst aquifers. Inasmuch as the soluble rocks of the karst landscape can be dissolved to create large, rapid-flow zones that compete successfully with surface streams, groundwater and subsurface flow represent a much larger component of the hydrologic budget in karst regions than in areas where non-soluble rocks predominate. Karst areas typically are distinguished by being unique, but some general approaches can be applied to characterize the hydrology of the area. These approaches include an evaluation of the degree of karstification, the hydrologic attributes of the groundwater flow system, the baseline water quality, the time-of-travel through the karst flow system, and the general flux moving through the system. The nature of potential contaminants and their total mass and range of concentrations are critical to understanding the potential environmental risk. This study describes the characterization of the baseline water quality of the shallow karst Boone aquifer and surface streams and springs to determine major processes and controls affecting water quality in the region, and to assess 2 years of waste spreading. Parameters evaluated include major constituents, contaminants and their breakdown products from the industrial operation of a concentrated animal-feeding operation (CAFO) on Big Creek, the indicator pathogen, E. coli, dissolved oxygen, selected trace metals, and other ancillary water-quality attributes that are directly observable in the environment. Determination of pre-CAFO water quality was accomplished by sampling approximately 40 sites that included wells, springs, and streams.
Brahana, V.; Nix, J.; Kuyper, C.; Turk, T.; Usrey, F.; Hodges, S.; Bitting, C.; Ficco, K.; Pollock, E.; Quick, R.; Thompson, B.; and Murdoch, J.
"Geochemical Processes and Controls Affecting Water Quality of the Karst Area of Big Creek near Mt. Judea, Arkansas,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 70
, Article 11.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol70/iss1/11