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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #213180


item MILLER, B
item Lerch, Robert

Submitted to: National Cave and Karst Management Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/26/2007
Publication Date: 10/8/2007
Citation: Miller, B.V., Lerch, R.N. 2007. Delineating karst recharge areas at onondaga cave state park [abstract]. National Cave and Karst Management Symposium.Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Onondaga Cave State Park is located in the north central portion of the Ozarks near Leasburg, Missouri. The park is known for two extensive cave systems, Onondaga Cave and Cathedral Cave. Both of these cave systems have active streams (1-2 cfs at baseflow) which have unknown recharge areas. As a management consideration, a series of dye traces has been started to delineate the recharge areas of the caves. The project was initiated in Winter 2003, with coordination between state and federal agencies. Standard dye tracing techniques were followed using three different dyes in order to maximize the number of potential injection points per round. It was necessary to work with surrounding landowners and other agencies in order to properly conduct the dye traces as most of the recharge area lies outside the boundaries of the State Park. As of Spring 2007, 18 dye injections have taken place. Onondaga Cave has had four successful hydrologic connections to surface injection sites. A conservative estimate of the size of the Onondaga recharge area is currently about 8-10 mi2, but dye-tracing work is on-going and will likely change this estimate. Cathedral Cave has eluded almost all attempts to hydrologically connect it to nearby surface streams. One small 2nd order stream has been successfully traced to Cathedral Cave; however, it is not thought to account for more than a small percentage of the overall flow or recharge area. Information gathered thus far is now being incorporated into a Cave Management Plan for the park to potentially aid in future management and possible future land acquisition.