March 2020 Meeting

Monday, March 9, 2020
6:00 - 7:30 pm

Pellissippi State Technical Community College
10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville
J.L Goins Administration Building
Faculty/Staff Dining Room



Solute and sediment transport in the Knox Aquifer near Oak Ridge, TN Download!

Sid Jones, PhD, PE, PG
Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (retired)



In the vicinity of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the Knox Aquifer is principally comprised of the Cambrian-Ordovician age dolomite of the Knox Group and the underlying Cambrian age Maynardville limestone. Groundwater flow is known to be influenced by dissolution processes that have created karst features in these carbonate rocks. Over a dozen groundwater tracing studies using fluorescent dyes have been conducted in this aquifer on and around the Department of Energy Oak Ridge Reservation. Results from these studies, in combination with field parameters and chemical analyses of groundwater discharging at springs, are used to provide insight into the transport of solutes and suspended material in this hydrogeological environment. The behavior of solute and sediment in groundwater in the Knox Aquifer near Oak Ridge is generally similar to that reported in other studies of transport in karst aquifers, with first arrival times for both solute and suspended matter indicating rapid groundwater velocities but significant loss of the mass during transport, especially for suspended material.


Dr. Jones has been interested in Tennessee karst for over 45 years, sparked initially by exploring caves on the western escarpment of the Cumberland Plateau while a university student. He was fortunate to be with the first group to explore portions of several large caves in that area. During this time, he witnessed water quality impacts in cave steams due to surface mining and failing sewage plants in the Upper Cumberland area of Tennessee and grew interested in the chemistry and transport of contaminants in karst areas. After leaving the Upper Cumberland area, he worked primarily for 15 years as a researcher, academic, and volunteer, but maintained an interest in karst studies and continued to assist colleagues with karst-related projects. After returning to Tennessee and joining the Oak Ridge office of the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation in 1992, he became involved in groundwater tracing studies in Oak Ridge and throughout the eastern half of the state. He has contributed to efforts to better quantify contaminant transport in karst aquifers.




Page updated March 09, 2020