Journal of Cave and Karst Studies - ISSN 1090-6924
Volume 67 Number 2: 120-124 - August 2005

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Using state-wide GIS data to identify the coincidence between sinkhiles and geologic structure
Lee Florea


The Kentucky GIS coverage of sinkholes, completed in 2003, consists of 101,176 polygons representing the upper-most closed contour of every karst sinkhole identified using USGS 1:24,000 scale topographic maps. This resource is a useful tool for delineating karst landscapes in Kentucky because karstified limestones underlie 55% of the aerial surface of the state. For hydrologic studies, alignments of sinkholes commonly indicate preferential flowpaths for groundwater; and this information aids in large-scale planning and zoning. In this paper, I demonstrate the effectiveness of using this sinkhole coverage as a tool for delimiting structural features of Kentucky.

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