Austin Sinkhole Could Help With Runoff Study

Dye used to study runoff into Edwards Aquifer

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2012  |  Updated 1:23 PM CDT
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Austin Sinkhole Could Help With Runoff Study

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A Central Texas sinkhole that's grown to about 20-feet deep has offered researchers a way to study runoff into the Edwards Aquifer.

Officials in Austin say the parking lot hole opened Jan. 25 after heavy rainfall, leading to discovery of a cave and a flow ultimately leading to the aquifer.

Scientist David Johns with Austin's Watershed Protection Department estimates several million gallons of water, mostly runoff, went into the sinkhole.

Researchers with the Edwards Aquifer Conservation District on Feb. 3 began tests using dye to trace the flow of water. Results are expected in a few weeks.

Hydrogeologist Brian Hunt says the district has been getting samples from different well monitors along the aquifer. The city has been monitoring water in Barton Springs and Cold Springs.

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