Karst aquifer systems are present throughout parts of the United States and some of its territories and are developed in carbonate rocks (primarily limestone and dolomite) that span the entire geologic time frame. The depositional environments, diagenetic processes, and post-depositional tectonic events that form carbonate rock aquifers are varied and complex, involving both biological and physical processes that can influence the development of permeability. These factors, combined with the diverse climatic regimes under which karst development in these rocks has taken place result in the unique dual or triple porosity nature of karst aquifers. These complex hydrologic systems often present challenges to scientists attempting to study groundwater flow and contaminant transport.
The concept for developing a Karst Interest Group evolved from the November 1999 National Groundwater Meeting of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Water Resources Division. As a result, the Karst Interest Group was formed in 2000. The Karst Interest Group is a loose-knit grass-roots organization of USGS employees devoted to fostering better communication among scientists working on, or interested in, karst hydrology studies.
The mission of the Karst Interest Group is to encourage and support interdisciplinary collaboration and technology transfer among USGS scientists working in karst areas. Additionally, the Karst Interest Group encourages cooperative studies between the different disciplines of the USGS and other Federal agencies, and university researchers or research institutes.
This fifth workshop is a joint workshop of the USGS Karst Interest Group and University of Arkansas HydroDays workshop, sponsored by the USGS, the Department of Geosciences at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Additional sponsors are: the National Cave and Karst Research Institute, the Edwards Aquifer Authority, San Antonio, Texas, and Beaver Water District, northwest Arkansas. The majority of funding for the proceedings preparation and workshop was provided by the USGS Groundwater Resources Program, National Cooperative Mapping Program, and the Regional Executives of the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, South Central and Rocky Mountain Areas. The University of Arkansas provided the rooms and facilities for the technical and poster presentations of the workshop, vans for the field trips, and sponsored the HydroDays banquet at the Savoy Experimental Watershed on Wednesday after the technical sessions.