November 13, 2023
6:00 - 7:30 pm
For those attending in-person this meeting will be held at the following location:
Pellissippi State Community College
Ned R. McWherter Technology Building, Room 129
Note: ETGS members participating virtually will receive an email with info for attending/logging into the meeting.
Karst hydrologic investigations in carbonate fensters of the western Great Smoky Mountains
Ben Miller, USGS Nashville, TN
A series of carbonate fensters are located in the western portion of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. These fensters expose the Ordovician Jonesboro Limestone and Blockhouse Shale through "windows" in the hanging wall of the Great Smoky Fault. The fensters create opportunities for allogenic recharge to the karst aquifer of the Jonesboro Limestone. The three largest fensters are Tuckaleechee Cove, Cades Cove, and Wear Cove, all of which have significant karst features that vary by site. For the past several years the U.S. Geological Survey has been conducting karst hydrologic studies in each of the major fensters to better understand the hydrologic processes in each cove and help characterize the karst flow systems. These studies have included seepage investigations to characterize and quantify streamflow gains and losses, hydrologic monitoring of cave streams and springs, and dye tracing to delineate recharge areas and determine karst groundwater velocities. Ben Miller, a karst hydrologist with the USGS in Nashville will present on the work conducted in the Great Smoky fensters and will summarize research findings that will be used to help protect these unique and vulnerable environments.
Ben Miller is a karst hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in the Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Ben's work includes recharge area delineation for caves and springs using dye tracing, seepage investigations examining surface water-groundwater interactions, hydrologic monitoring, and hydrologic studies coupled with biological inventories. Ben holds a Masters Degree in Hydrology and Geomorphology from Western Kentucky University with an emphasis in karst hydrology and a Bachelors Degree in Natural Resource Recreation Management from University of Missouri-Columbia. Ben serves on the board for the Cave Research Foundation, the Karst Waters Institute, and the Tennessee Cave Survey. Ben is also a lifelong avid caver and cave mapper, having surveyed and drafted cave maps for over 500 caves in 13 states and 6 countries.
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Page updated October 27, 2023