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Sinking and Losing Streams

Management Objectives

Scenario: No. 1

Scenario: No. 2

Scenario: No. 3

Assessing Karst Watercourses


Streams and watercourses are assessed during karst field assessments to determine if they sink or lose water to the subsurface. The assessment process also evaluates the significance of any recipient karst features receiving the water.

What problems do transported sediments create in recipient karst features?

Sediment, organic material and woody debris can be transported downstream where it can accumulate and clog karst features. This can restrict water from entering the subsurface and/or redirect flows to other subsurface openings or to the surface. Another concern is the introduction of fine sediment and organic material into subsurface cavities and caves. These materials can coat underground surfaces, thereby impacting subsurface habitats and other cave resources or values. The slow decay rate associated with underground environments allows these materials to accumulate and persist over long periods of time.

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