Worthington Groundwater
Carbonate aquifers
Borehole methods
Tracer tests
Spring monitoring
Test methods for characterizing contaminant transport in a glaciated carbonate aquifer
Stephen R. H. Worthington

Abstract. It is widely recognized that karstification can substantially influence flow and transport characteristics in carbonate aquifers. Surface features such as sinkholes are widely used to diagnose the presence of a karst aquifer, but specific borehole tests for karst have not been well defined. Such tests are especially important in glaciated areas where karst features have been eroded or buried by till. One such area is Smithville, Ontario, where more than 60 boreholes at a PCB-contaminated dolostone site provided an opportunity for a wide range of downhole tests and monitoring to be carried out. It was found that there were a number of useful tests for indicating karstification. These included (1) the order of magnitude differences between pump, slug and packer test results, (2) the presence of water table troughs, (3) rapid water level response following recharge events, (4) the rapid changes in water quality following recharge events, (5) water undersaturated with respect to calcite following recharge events, and (6) a wide range in fracture apertures along major bedding planes. Most parameters vary over a similar range at Smithville as they do at Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, indicating that the Smithville aquifer behaves as a typical karst aquifer.

Published in: Environmental Geology, 2002, 42: 546-551. Copyright: Springer-Verlag.
The original publication is available on LINK at http://link.springer.de
DOI: 10.1007/s00254-001-0518-3