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Hudson, M.R., Turner, K.J., Bitting, Chuck, Kaufmann, J.E., Kresse, T.M., and Mott, D.N., 2011, Geologic controls on karst landscapes in the Buffalo National River Area-insights gained from comparison of geologic mapping, topography, dye tracers, and karst inventories: in Kuniansky, E.L., ed., U.S. Geological Survey Karst Interest Group Proceedings, Fayetteville, Ar., April 26-29, 2011, USGS SIR 2011-5031, p. 86.

Kresse, T.M., Hays, P.D., Hudson, M.R., and Kaufman[n], J.E., 2011, The influence of land use and occurrence of sinkholes on nitrogen transport in the Ozark Plateaus in Arkansas and Missouri: in Kuniansky, E.L., ed., U.S. Geological Survey Karst Interest Group Proceedings, Fayetteville, Ar., April 26-29, 2011, USGS SIR 2011-5031, p. 36.

Kaufmann, J.E., 2008, A statistical approach to karst collapse hazard analysis in Missouri: in Yuhr, L.B., Alexander, E.C., Jr., and Beck, B.F., 2007, Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst, proceedings of the 11th Multidisciplinary Conference, Tallahassee, Florida, USA, 2007, pp. 257-268.

Spooner, J., and Kaufmann, J., 2007, Identifying the major factors that determine the occurrence of sinkholes in the Ozarks, an interdisciplinary study being conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey: in Elliot, W.R, ed., 2007 National Cave and Karst Management Symposium Proceedings, St. Louis, Mo., 2007.

Kaufmann, J.E., 2007, Sinkholes: USGS Fact Sheet 2007-3060, 2 pp.

Karst Hazards and Vulnerabilities

Karst related soil-cover collapse in front of and under a house in Springfield, Missouri. The collapse is approximately 3 meters deep at the time the photo was taken in 2007. It continued to expand and the house was razed in 2011.
Karst related soil-cover collapse in front of and under a house in
Springfield, Missouri. The collapse is approximately 3 meters deep
at the time the photo was taken in 2007. It continued to expand
and the house was razed in 2011.
This project investigates hazards posed by karst landscapes and the vulnerabilities of karst resources. The goal of this project is to increase the reliability and resolution, both spatial and temporal, of karst hazard assessment. Of particular interest are hazards posed by catastrophic soil-cover collapses in karst areas. To accomplish this goal, techniques have been developed to increase the resolution of karst feature mapping using advanced geospatial analysis and high resolution digital elevation mapping. Karst features such as sinkholes, caves, springs, and calcareous fens typically harbor unique assemblages of species and provide habitat for many endangered species. More precise and thorough mapping and characterization of karst features not only aids in assessing karst hazards but also aids in assessing vulnerabilities and resilience of karst habitats.

Karst hazards impact nearly every aspect of life for those living in karst areas. Direct losses due to these hazards average in the tens of millions of dollars per year. Indirect costs, such as the increased need for pre-construction geotechnical investigation including boreholes and geophysical surveys, impacts to health due to groundwater contamination, and remediation are many times that. More than 25 percent of people in the 48 contiguous states live on karst and karst aquifers are a significant source of fresh water worldwide. Developing methods to identify, characterize, and map karst hazards objectively regionally, nationally, and globally decreases site investigation costs by focusing efforts on the highest risk areas and improves disaster response preparedness by identifying the most vulnerable areas and communities.

Principal Investigator: James Kaufmann, jkaufmann@usgs.gov, EROS Center, Sioux Falls, SD

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