Applied Karst Hydrogeology is a field course that introduces the basics of karst hydrogeology with an emphasis on methods and techniques relevant to addressing environmental problems. Topics covered in daily presentations and discussion include an introduction of the karst hydrogeology of the Mammoth Cave region, karst hydrology/aquifer systems, karst geochemistry, groundwater tracing and monitoring, near-surface geophysics, and applications of these methods to karst groundwater problems. Field exercises include surface and cave trips with a particular focus on ‘hands-on’ instruction in qualitative and quantitative dye tracing, groundwater monitoring, and geophysics.
The 2017 field course was held at the Cave Research Foundation’s Hamilton Valley Research Station near Mammoth Cave National Park and although fieldwork focused in the Park area, discussion about urban karst environmental problems included a field trip to nearby Bowling Green, Kentucky.
This course is available as a workshop or for credit (undergraduate or graduate) through the Karst Field Studies Program at Western Kentucky University. Participants must be in good physical condition to negotiate the cave passages and surface hikes which are a major component of this course. Students who take the course for credit will develop an independent research project in consultation with the instructors during the week.
Guest Speaker, Dr. Nicholas Crawford
Surface tour of Mammoth Cave Region
Scenic cave tour in Mammoth Cave National Park
Hidden River Cave and the American Cave Museum
National Corvette Museum: Corvette Cave-In
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.