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Recharge Mixing in a Complex Distributary Spring System in the Missouri Ozarks, USA
Hydrogeology Journal (2015)
  • Chris Groves, Western Kentucky University
  • Benjamin Miller
  • Robert Lerch
  • Jason Polk

Toronto Springs is a complex distributary karst spring system with 11 perennial springs in the Missouri Ozarks, USA. Carroll Cave (CC) and Wet Glaize Creek (WG) were previously identi fi ed as principal recharge sources. This study (1) characterized physical and chemical properties of springs and recharge sources; (2) developed end-member mixing models to estimate contributing pro- portions of CC and WG; and (3) created a conceptual model for the system. Samples analyzed for major ions and speci fi c conductivity, in conjunction with a rotating continuous monitoring program to identify statistically comparable base fl ow conditions, were used to assess differences among the sites. Monitoring data showed that the springs differed depending upon recharge proportions. Cluster analysis of average ion concentrations supported the choice of CC and WG as mixing model end members. Results showed a range in the proportions of the recharge sources, from surface-water to groundwater dominated. A conceptual model suggests that a system of distinct conduits beneath the WG fl ood plain transmits water to the individual springs. These conduits controlled the end-member recharge contributions and water chemistry of the springs. Interpretation of relative propor- tions of recharge contributions extends existing knowledge of karst hydrologic geometry beyond that of point-to-point connections to revealing complex surface-water/groundwa- ter mixing in heterogeneous distributary spring systems.

  • Distributary springs . Karst . Groundwater/ surface-water relations . Hydrochemistry . Conceptual models
Publication Date
February, 2015
Citation Information
Chris Groves, Benjamin Miller, Robert Lerch and Jason Polk. "Recharge Mixing in a Complex Distributary Spring System in the Missouri Ozarks, USA" Hydrogeology Journal Vol. 23 (2015)
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