Potential karst development areas in the Hoosier National Forest

Status Start Date End Date Locations
completed Jan 1, 2009 Sep 30, 2011 Brown, Crawford, Dubois, Jackson, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Perry
Director: Sally Letsinger
Other Researchers:
Funding: U.S. Forest Service (USFS)
Issue: Management of the Hoosier National Forest in Indiana needs to take into consideration not only known areas of existing karst development, but also areas that have high probabilities of sinkhole development.
Objective: Identify both existing areas of karst development in the Hoosier National Forest, along with identification of the spatial distribution of areas with high probabilities of karst or sinkhole development.
Approach: Use geographic information systems (GIS) technology and databases, along with statistical modeling methods, to identify existing areas of karst development to rank the most important factors of limestone dissolution in Indiana, and then use that information to identify areas that meet the established criteria.
Products: (1) Maps and GIS data layers showing existing karst/sinkhole areas, and (2) Maps and GIS data layers showing relative risk of future karst development based on statistical modeling.
Benefits: The results of this study will facilitate safe and effective management of the Hoosier National Forest in a geologically and hydrogeologically sensitive environmental setting.