Characterization of the physical and hydraulic properties of the sediment in karst aquifers of the Springfield Plateau, Central Missouri, USA

Document Type


Publication Date



Physical and hydraulic properties of sediment from two karst aquifers were measured to determine (1) the similarity of sediment between karst aquifer systems and (2) the importance of sediment in modeling flow through karst aquifers. The sediment from the two systems was similar in size and composition. Within both aquifers, the silt-sized sediment was composed primarily of quartz, with minor amounts of plagioclase and clays. Hydraulic conductivity of the sediment measured directly (falling-head test) ranged from 1.61 × 10-7 to 1.33 × 10-6 m s-1 and estimated using the Campbell equation ranged from 8.30 × 10-8 to 8.98 × 10-7 m s-1. These values of hydraulic conductivity fall within the span of hydraulic conductivities for carbonate rocks, indicating that the sediment and carbonate matrix could be represented as one mathematical unit in modeling flow through karst aquifers. Statistical agreement in the hydraulic conductivity values generated by the two methods indicates that the estimation technique could be used to calculate hydraulic conductivities; thus allowing karst scientist to collect bulk sediment samples instead of having to collect cores from within karst aquifers.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Hydrogeology Journal

First Page


Last Page


This document is currently not available here.