Nancy Hasenmueller
Geological Research at the IGS

Karst Poster

Status Start Date End Date Locations
completed Jan 1, 1950 Jul 31, 2006 Bartholomew, Clark, Crawford, Dearborn, Decatur, Dubois, Floyd, Greene, Harrison, Jefferson,
Jennings, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Owen, Perry, Putnam, Ripley, Scott,
Shelby, Switzerland, Washington
Director: Nancy Hasenmueller
Other Researchers: Richard Powell,
Issue: Karst terrain is at or near the surface in several areas of southern Indiana and is present beneath unconsolidated glacial deposits in parts of northern Indiana. Nonpoint source pollutants, which can be dangerous to aquatic life and humans, can be introduced into water systems by human activities. Nonpoint source pollutants are particularly problematic in karst terrains, where the soils are generally thin and the residence time of the ground water is short because the water often moves through open conduits. Water-quality problems that can arise in karst terrains include contamination of ground water from (1) application of insecticides, herbicides, and fertilizers, (2) disposal of trash or garbage in sinkholes/solution features, (3) installation of septic systems in thin soils, (4) runoff of road salt, (5) runoff from feedlots and barnyards, (6) tillage resulting in the erosion of soils, and (7) runoff of nonaqueous phase liquids from residentially and industrially developed areas.
Objective: These water-quality problems result from human activities and can be prevented in part through better education of the general public about the areal extent, characteristics, and sensitivity of the karst environment.
Approach: The Indiana Geological Survey educates the general public about karst terrains in Indiana by preparing and distributing a karst poster to the public. The karst poster includes photographs of a sinkhole plain in the Mitchell Plateau, solution features in limestone bedrock, and the improper disposal of trash in a sinkhole. There are diagrams showing the: 1) characteristics of the karst landscape, 2) potential sources of contaminants in karst terrains, and 3) rock types found in karst areas of southern Indiana. A map of Indiana showing the locations of karst areas in the state and a discussion of the ways one can help protect the karst environment are included on the poster.
Products: Hasenmueller, N.R., and Powell, R.L., 2005, Karst, Indiana Geological Survey Poster 4.
Benefits: The environmental outcome of this educational poster is that people will learn: 1) Where karst terrain areas are located within the state of Indiana; 2) How karst solution features are formed; 3) How ground water is contaminated in karst environments by the movement of pollutants through fractures and conduits in the bedrock; and 4) What they can do to prevent contamination of karst environment.

Hasenmueller, N.R., and Powell, R.L., 2005, Karst: Indiana Geological Survey Poster 4.

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