The NSS Bulletin
- ISSN 1090-6924
Volume 38 Number 4: 103-106 - October 1976
A publication of the National Speleological Society
Sinkhole Plain Evolution
in the Central Kentucky Karst
Steve G. Wells
The Sinkhole Plain of the Central Kentucky Karst has been developed both by surface and by subsurface drainage. In this study, geomorphic evolution of the Sinkhole Plain is delineated by the following: 1) development of a new method, using best-fit curves of stram profiles, to analyze surface drainage evolution; 2) study of the types and patterns of subsurface drainage systems and their relationships to surface drainage and the structural and stratigraphic setting; and 3) delineation of the boundaries of karst watersheds in the Sinkhole Plain.
Development of the Sinkhole Plain has involved the successive lowering of regional base level and is indicated by two different cave levels. Subaerial portions of sinking streams can be mathematically extrapolated to these cave levels. Both subsurface drainage and the regional slope of the Sinkhole Plain surface are concordant with the direction of maximum groundwater (piezometric) slope and their overall patterns are not influenced by local structural and stratigraphic variations.
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