FLORIDA KARST PROJECT

Interactive museum exhibit - Seismic signals from water flowing through caves

You can interact with this exhibit in the Meyer Science Center Museum at Wheaton College (IL). Video by Donovan Michel.

We are working on a project to monitor geophysical responses to recharge events in a karst aquifer in Florida (funded by NSF Hydrologic Sciences). We are using geophysical, hydrologic, and meteorological data to characterize karst conduits, subsurface flow dynamics, and the larger karst aquifer system. Benefits to society include developing tools to assist with the creation of karst hazards maps that highlight areas susceptible to sinkhole formation, identifying preferential flow paths relevant to contaminant transport, and developing a methodology to determine subsurface flow for water supply considerations. Research team members include Andrew Luhmann (Assistant Professor), Emily Kranendonk (Postbac Researcher), Luke Penney (Undergraduate Student), Claire Browning (Undergraduate Student), Lauren Breederland (Undergraduate Student), Calvin Block (Undergraduate Student), Julia Baer (Undergraduate Student), Ethan Emerson (Undergraduate Student), Samuel Dunbar (Undergraduate Student), Ethan Paul (Undergraduate Student), and Isaac Struebing (Undergraduate Student) at Wheaton College; Susan Bilek (Professor), Jacob Gochenour (PhD Student), and Jared Ciarico (Undergraduate Student) at New Mexico Tech; Ronni Grapenthin (Associate Professor) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks; Jonathan Martin (Professor), Han (Aiden) Byul Woo (PhD Student), Madison Flint (PhD Student), Andrew Oberhelman (PhD Student), Joel (Lucas) Cuevas (Undergraduate Student), Tatiana Summerall (Undergraduate Student), Krista Van Der Velde (Undergraduate Student), and Riccardo Ansaldi (Undergraduate Student) at the University of Florida; and Matt Covington (Associate Professor) at the University of Arkansas. Click here for the project abstract and outcomes report, and see below for pictures, analyses, publications, and datasets.

The project is being conducted at the Santa Fe River Sink-Rise system in north-central Florida. Shown here is the River Rise, where water rises from a subsurface conduit to the Earth's surface.

Water level from seven surface water bodies at O’Leno and River Rise Preserve State Parks. Figure by Jacob Gochenour.

Analyses have identified a relationship between seismic power and water level in the aquifer. Figure by Jacob Gochenour.

Aiden, Sue, and Jacob installing a nodal-style seismometer.

Jared, Lauren, and Aiden conducting a hammer survey to characterize the subsurface.

Preliminary data analyses have demonstrated that seismometers are recording signals during precipitation events, as amplitude increased by one to two orders of magnitude and spectrograms show a large increase in power across a range in frequencies during precipitation event records. In addition, seismic signals after the rain suggest an additional source beyond precipitation (perhaps from flow in the aquifer). Figure by Jacob Gochenour.

Ethan, Julia, and Ethan making plans for the interactive aquifer model museum exhibit.

Ethan, Ethan, Isaac, and Julia posing by the aquifer flow model structure. The trees are being used to create a vegetated landscape on top.

Wild hog captured with the motion camera at one of the seismic monitoring stations. Photo records are being used to distinguish sources of seismic signals at the surface from subsurface sources (e.g., fluid flow processes) in the aquifer.

Research team deploying seismometers at field site. May 2018.

Jon next to our weather station.

Field help.

More field help!

Publications

Gochenour, J.A., A.J. Rinehart, A.J. Luhmann, R. Grapenthin, and S.L. Bilek. In review. Poroelastic response to karst conduit pressurization: A finite element modeling exercise toward the use of tiltmeters in karst aquifer monitoring applications. Manuscript submitted to Water Resources Research.

Gochenour, J.A., S.L. Bilek, H.B. Woo, A.J. Luhmann, R. Grapenthin, and J.B. Martin. 2024. Ambient seismic noise tomography within the Floridan Aquifer System, Santa Fe River-Sink Rise, Florida, U.S. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 129 (5), e2023JB027644, https://doi.org/10.1029/2023JB027644.

Flint, M.K., J.B. Martin, A. Oberhelman, A.J. Janelle, M. Black, A. Barry‐Sosa, and B.C. Christner. 2023. Hydrologic and organic carbon quality controls on nitrous oxide dynamics across a variably confined karst aquifer. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 128 (10), e2023JG007493, https://doi.org/10.1029/2023JG007493.

Oberhelman, A., J.B. Martin, and M.K. Flint. 2023. Methane cycling in the carbonate critical zone. Science of the Total Environment, 899, 165645, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.165645.

Woo, H.B., S.L. Bilek, J.A. Gochenour, R. Grapenthin, A.J. Luhmann, and J.B. Martin. 2023. Processing ambient noise data using phase cross-correlation and application toward understanding spatiotemporal environmental effects. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 128 (7), e2023JF007091, https://doi.org/10.1029/2023JF007091. 

Bilek, S.L., A.J. Luhmann, R. Grapenthin, H.B. Woo, and J.A. Gochenour. 2023. Capturing seismic signals from karst aquifer injection experiments and a natural recharge event. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth 128 (4), e2022JB025635, https://doi.org/10.1029/2022JB025635.

Flint, M.K., J.B. Martin, T.I. Summerall, A.Barry-Sosa, and B.C. Christner. 2020. Nitrous Oxide Processing in Carbonate Karst Aquifers. Journal of Hydrology 594: 125936. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2020.125936.

Datasets

Luhmann, A.J., J.A. Gochenour, E.N. Lam, M.W. Noble, E.A. Kranendonk, S.L. Bilek, H.B. Woo, R. Grapenthin, J.B. Martin, M.K. Flint. 2023. Hydrologic and meteorological data from the Santa Fe River Sink-Rise flow system area, Florida, USA – May 2018-May 2021, HydroShare, http://www.hydroshare.org/resource/c6e776fc0c364da7b7702394fbc44842.

Luhmann, A.J., B.J. Luhmann, S.B. Luhmann, S.L. Bilek, J.A. Gochenour, H.B. Woo, R. Grapenthin, J.B. Martin, M.K. Flint. 2023. Photos from the Santa Fe River Sink-Rise flow system area, Florida, USA – May 2018-May 2021, HydroShare, http://www.hydroshare.org/resource/0bd6c9102f1e4f6cba63237d97db81c6.

Luhmann, A.J., S.L. Bilek, M.D. Covington, R. Grapenthin, H.B. Woo, J.A. Gochenour, E.C. Alexander, S.C. Alexander, M.R. Larsen. 2023. Hydrologic (discharge, level, pressure, voltage, electrical conductivity, and temperature) and atmospheric (pressure and temperature) data from injection experiments and a rain event at Bear Spring, MN, USA – June 10-12, 2016, HydroShare, http://www.hydroshare.org/resource/74a7fedb4f694ab6aafa3e6d6f47d129.

Bilek, S. 2018. Geophysical characterization of karst aquifers using dynamic recharge events [Data set]. International Federation of Digital Seismograph Networks. https://doi.org/10.7914/SN/XS_2018.

Bilek, S. 2016. Delineating preferential flow paths from recharge for water planning and management [Data set]. International Federation of Digital Seismograph Networks. https://doi.org/10.7914/SN/XK_2016.

Conference abstracts

Bilek, S.L., J.A. Gochenour, A.J. Luhmann, H.B. Woo, R. Grapenthin, and J.B. Martin. 2022. Site characterization and seismic noise correlation with hydrologic data using a dense nodal seismic array deployed within the Santa Fe Sink-Rise, FL, USA karst aquifer system. Abstract to be presented at the 2022 Fall Meeting, AGU, Chicago, IL, 12-16 Dec.

Emerson, E.B., J. Baer, S. Dunbar, S.L. Bilek, J.A. Gochenour, H.B. Woo, R. Grapenthin, J.B. Martin, B.J. Luhmann, and A.J. Luhmann. 2022. Interactive museum exhibit illustrating seismic responses during flow through karst conduits. Abstract to be presented at the 2022 Fall Meeting, AGU, Chicago, IL, 12-16 Dec.

Flint, M.K., J.B. Martin, A. Oberhelman, M. Black, A. Barry-Sosa, B. Christner. 2022. Groundwater-surface water exchange in a karst aquifer controls N2O dynamics. Abstract H36A-07 presented at the 2022 Fall Meeting, AGU, Chicago, IL, 12-16 Dec. 

Kranendonk, E.A., A.J. Luhmann, H.B. Woo, J.A. Gochenour, A.J. Rinehart, S.L. Bilek, R. Grapenthin, J.B. Martin, M.K. Flint, and M.D. Covington. 2022. Three-dimensional hydraulic characterization in a karst aquifer using cross-correlation analysis of water level data. Abstract to be presented at the 2022 Fall Meeting, AGU, Chicago, IL, 12-16 Dec.

Luhmann, A.J., H.B. Woo, J.A. Gochenour, E.A. Kranendonk, M.D. Covington, S.L. Bilek, R. Grapenthin, J.B. Martin, and M.K. Flint. 2022. Cross-correlation hydrologic analysis to determine water exchange between conduits and the surrounding rock matrix in karst aquifers. Abstract to be presented at the 2022 Fall Meeting, AGU, Chicago, IL, 12-16 Dec.

Woo, H.B., S.L. Bilek, J.A. Gochenour, A.J. Luhmann, R. Grapenthin, and J.B. Martin. 2022. High frequency ambient noise seismic data processing and quality control towards monitoring changes in spatio-temporal seismic velocities. Abstract to be presented at the 2022 Fall Meeting, AGU, Chicago, IL, 12-16 Dec.

Emerson, E.B., J. Baer, S. Dunbar, S.L. Bilek, J.A. Gochenour, H.B. Woo, R. Grapenthin, J.B. Martin, B.J. Luhmann, and A.J. Luhmann. 2022. Using an interactive museum exhibit to illustrate seismic signals during flow through caves. Abstract presented at the 2022 Chicago Chapter Student Paper Night, AEG, Downers Grove, IL, 15 Nov. 

Gochenour, J.A., A.J. Rinehart, A.J. Luhmann, R. Grapenthin, and S.L. Bilek. 2021. Finite element modeling of poroelastic response to karst conduit pressurization and subsequent change in groundwater storage: Toward the use of high precision tiltmeters in karst aquifer monitoring applications. Abstract H35B-1044 presented at the 2021 Fall Meeting, AGU, New Orleans, LA, 13-17 Dec.

Gochenour, J.A., S.L. Bilek, H.B. Woo, A.J. Luhmann, R. Grapenthin, and J.B. Martin. 2020. Seismic responses to the rate-of-change of surface- and groundwater level within a karst aquifer system, Santa Fe River Sink-Rise, north-central Florida. Abstract S025-07 presented at the 2020 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 7-11 Dec.

Luhmann, A.J., S.L. Bilek, R. Grapenthin, M.D. Covington, J.A. Gochenour, and H.B. Woo. 2020. Seismic observations of possible overpressurized air pocket release in a karst aquifer. Abstract H054-03 presented at the 2020 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 7-11 Dec.

Woo, H.B., S.L. Bilek, J.A. Gochenour, P.N. Adams, A.J. Luhmann, R. Grapenthin, and J.B. Martin. 2020. Monitoring spatial and temporal changes in seismic velocity of the Florida karst aquifer system with phase cross-correlation and wavelet cross-spectral analysis. Abstract S021-0003 presented at the 2020 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 7-11 Dec.

Browning, C.K., A.J. Luhmann, S.M. Becker, L.J. Dykhouse, A.I. Phinney, M.T. Childre, M.D. Covington, F. Gabrovšek, E.K. Herman, J.B. Martin, J.S. Polk, M.E. Schreiber, B.F. Schwartz, and L. Toran. 2019. Thermal retardation in karst aquifers: Field observations. Abstract H21H-1818 presented at the 2019 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 9-13 Dec.

Flint, M., A.B. Sosa, T. Summerall, J.B. Martin, and B.C. Christner. 2019. Biogeochemical and hydrological controls on nitrous oxide cycling in karstic aquifers. Abstract B13L-2456 presented at the 2019 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif, 9-13 Dec. Madison received an Outstanding Student Presentation Award for this presentation at the meeting!

Gochenour, J.A., S.L. Bilek, R. Grapenthin, A.J. Luhmann, L.J. Penney and J.B. Martin. 2019. Expanding environmental seismology to karst aquifer systems: Correlating seismic power to discharge from a conduit network. Abstract S33B-04 presented at the 2019 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 9-13 Dec.

Penney, L.J., S.L. Bilek, J.A. Gochenour, A.J. Luhmann, R. Grapenthin, and J.B. Martin. 2019. Characterization of environmental seismic noise near a karst aquifer in Florida. Abstract S23D-0661 presented at the 2019 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 9-13 Dec. 

Luhmann, A.J., C.K. Browning, L.J. Dykhouse, J.A. Gochenour, S.A. Barbosa, S.L. Bilek, R. Grapenthin, T. Summerall, K. Van Der Velde, J.B. Martin, and L.J. Penney. 2019. Estimating conduit diameter in an eogenetic karst aquifer from modified water temperature signals. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 51, No. 5, Paper No. 90-3, doi: 10.1130/abs/2019AM-339753.

Gochenour, J.A., S.L. Bilek, R. Grapenthin, A.J. Luhmann, J.B. Martin, and S.A. Barbosa. 2019. Seismic observations of precipitation and recharge-related signals in the Floridan Aquifer at Santa Fe River Sink and Rise, Florida. Abstract presented at the 2019 Seismological Society of America Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA, 23-26 Apr.

Luhmann, A.J., S.L. Bilek^, and R. Grapenthin. 2018. Seismic monitoring of artificial and natural recharge events in karst aquifers. Abstract G43C-2284 presented at the 2018 Fall Meeting, AGU, Washington, D.C., 10-14 Dec. ^Presenter.

Luhmann, A.J., S.L. Bilek, and R. Grapenthin. 2018. Seismic responses during recharge events in karst aquifers: Potential records of pressure pulses? Geological Society of America Annual Meeting Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 50, No. 6, Paper No. 75-9.