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Mapping Karst Groundwater Basins as a Nonpoint-Source Pollution Management Tool in the Inner Bluegrass

This project uses groundwater dye traces to increase our understanding of groundwater flow in the Lexington and Harrodsburg 30 x 60 minute quadrangle. Workshops are held to teach agricultural specialists, emergency management officers, county and municipal officials, and the general public about the vulnerability of karst aquifers to pollution and how the groundwater basin maps can be used as a tool to maximize the effectiveness of best management practices.

The two quadrangles being revised are part of a series of maps showing the locations of swallow holes, springs, hypothetical flow routes, and estimated groundwater basin boundaries of karst springs. Although the previously published maps of the Lexington and Harrodsburg quadrangles illustrate the results of numerous groundwater dye traces conducted by various researchers over many years, substantial karst areas in each quadrangle remained unmapped. Field work to conduct additional groundwater dye tracing in the Lexington and Harrodsburg quadrangles began in March 2000. The new dye-tracing data have been used to significantly revise the Lexington quadrangle map, which will soon be available.

This project is funded by the Nonpoint-Source Section of the Kentucky Division of Water through Section 319 of the Clean Water Act.