Aquifer Quality Study and H.L. Disney Training Site

Grants and Contracts Details


The Harold L. Disney Training Site is a 580-acre facility on the Cumberland River upstream of Barbourville. The property is farmed and septic systems are used for the latrines and shower house. We propose to work with the Kentucky Army National Guard Environmental Team to assess potential potable and non-potable water resources while balancing ecological aspects and impacts. We will map the water table at the site and determine seasonal fluctuations in depth to the water table, directions and rates of groundwater flow, and groundwater interactions with the Cumberland River. In addition, we will characterize seasonal variations in groundwater and surface-water chemistry, including possible impacts of land use and training activities on water quality. We hypothesize the following: (1) Groundwater flow follows topography from the ridge south of the training site to the river. River-stage rises result in local reversals in groundwater flow away from the river over periods of days to weeks. (2) Groundwater chemistry is controlled primarily by reactions with alluvium or shallow bedrock. Nutrient inputs to groundwater from fertilizer application and septic system leach fields are localized and temporary, as are impacts of stream water on groundwater chemistry during elevated river stage. Upward flow of brine along old, poorly completed gas wells may result in localized groundwater salinization. Work tasks will include compiling existing data from prior investigations, including lithology from drillers' logs and geotechnical borings, soil types, and water-chemistry analyses, in a georeferenced Access database that is ArcGIS-compatible. We will oversee installation of monitoring wells by a licensed drilling contractor and describe lithology and texture of cores recovered during drilling. Wellhead elevations will be surveyed, and depth to water will be measured quarterly during a 12- to 15-month period. We will deploy logging sensors in a subset of wells for continuous water-level measurements, which will be compared with river stage measurements obtained from U.S. Geological Survey gages at Pineville and Barbourville. Slug tests in monitoring wells will be conducted for measurement of hydraulic conductivity. We will monitor water quality in the monitoring wells, an on-site well, and the Cumberland River (at upstream and downstream boundaries of the training site) quarterly during 12 to 15 months. Analytes will include field parameters, metals (dissolved and total), anions, nutrients, and total dissolved solids. All locations will also be sampled twice (spring and fall) for volatile organic compounds. New data will be incorporated into the geospatial database. We will present interim findings at a professional scientific conference (e.g., the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Seattle, October 2017). After completion of field work, we will oversee abandonment of the monitoring wells by a licensed drilling contractor. Finally, we will document methods, summarize data, and present findings in a report to KDMA. This will serve as the basis for a master's thesis in Geological Sciences (proposed title: Temporal and Spatial Variability in Groundwater Flow and Chemistry along the Cumberland River, Artemus, Kentucky).
Effective start/end date9/26/1610/31/18


  • KY Department of Military Affairs: $146,946.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.