The Center for Cave and Karst Studies and in cooperation with the Mammoth Cave International Center for Science and Learning and Western Kentucky University, offers a series of week-long field courses focusing on cave and karst science, and caving.
The course has three components: formal lectures, field demonstrations, and field trips. Two 1.5 hour lectures are given each of the five mornings of the course. These cover the theory of ground water flow in karst aquifers, the movement of contaminants in karst aquifers, ground water chemistry in carbonate rocks, methods for tracing water, mechanisms and risks associated with sinkholes, and the development and evolutions of karst aquifers. The technique for tracing water using fluorescent dyes will be developed in detail in field demonstrations. This will include dye injection, collection, measurement and interpretation. Geophysical techniques, particularly microgravity and resistivity will be demonstrated. Field trips will provide direct observation of many of the features and environmental issues discussed in the lectures. Students completing the course may leave with a broad understanding of the behavior of drainage basins in carbonate terrains, the functioning of karst aquifers, and the evolution of these aquifers over time. On the practical side, students will be aware of problems of water supply, water quality threats, and sinkhole-related problems in karst areas. The course will also provide training in geophysical and water tracing methods for the investigation of real world problems in karst terrains.
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Western Kentucky University’s Department of Earth, Environmental, and Atmospheric Sciences, in cooperation with Mammoth Cave National Park and the Cave Research Foundation, offers a series of multi-day field courses focusing on cave and karst science and management.