Karst conduit flow in the Cambrian St. Lawrence Confining Unit, southeast Minnesota, USA.


Material Information

Karst conduit flow in the Cambrian St. Lawrence Confining Unit, southeast Minnesota, USA.
Series Title:
Carbonates and Evaporites
Green, Jeffery A.
Runkel, Anthony C.
Alexander Jr., E. Calvin
Springer Nature
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Dye Tracing ( local )
Karst ( local )
Confining Unit ( local )
Aquitard ( local )
Cambrian St. Lawrence ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )


Southeastern Minnesota’s karst lands support numerous trout streams created by Paleozoic bedrock springs. Several of the Paleozoic bedrock units are recognized as karst aquifers. Recent field investigations have discovered sinking, and one losing, streams in the Cambrian St. Lawrence Formation. The siliciclastic-dominated St. Lawrence Formation has historically been viewed as a confining unit and is designated as such in the Minnesota Water Well Code. Stream sinks in the St. Lawrence Formation have been identified in five different streams, and there are numerous other streams crossing the St. Lawrence that have yet to be investigated. Dye traces have been conducted on the five streams. At all of the sites, dye was recovered at springs emanating from the base of the St. Lawrence Formation. The initial dye breakthrough occurs quickly, but the breakthrough curves have tails that continue for months to over a year. Breakthrough travel velocities from the sinks to the springs are 35–750 m/day. The five dye tracing sites are geographically separated by 65 km. The subcrop of the St. Lawrence Formation is found throughout southeastern Minnesota and southwestern Wisconsin. The St. Lawrence Formation has well-developed macroporosity; most of the formation is moderately to well cemented with dolomite and contains abundant horizontal and vertical fractures in outcrop and subcrop conditions. Volumetrically minor dolomite beds with centimeter-scale solution cavities are common in the lowermost part of the formation. These attributes, combined with rapid groundwater flow as determined by dye tracing, supports the conclusion that this purported confining unit has karst conduit flow properties in subcrop conditions.
Original Version:
Carbonates and Evaporites, Vol. 27, no. 2 (2012-06-28).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
This object is protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder.

USFLDC Membership

University of South Florida
Karst Information Portal

Postcard Information



Download Options


No images or PDF downloads are available for this resource.

Cite this item close


Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.


Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.


Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.


Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.