Hydrochemical Evaluation of Human and Seasonal Effects of Karst Carbonate Groundwater

  • Anna Foster


This study uses current and historical physico-chemical data collected from City Lake Spring at Cookeville in Tennessee, which drains Mississippian limestone aquifer systems, to determine effects of seasonal changes and human activity on the karst groundwater quality and karstification. Seasonal effects on the water quality and karstification is evaluated by comparing data collected during the summer of 2017 and winter 2015. Human and hydrogeological influences of water quality are evaluated by comparing data collected in 2015-2016 and historical data in 2009. Principles of aqueous chemistry and statistical methods are used in analyzing and interpreting these data. The physical parameters measured are temperature, pH, electrical conductivity, and oxidation-reduction potential; and the chemical parameters are calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, sulfate, phosphorous, sodium, dissolved organic carbon, nitrate, bromide, and alkalinity. This study could help determine if human activity (urban development, waste disposal, run-off water with fertilizer, road salt, etc.) are affecting the ground water quality. In addition, this research will give a better understanding of the local hydrogeology, karstification, and tracing of urban contamination.

Earth Sciences