EAST TENNESSEE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY
2009 Winter/Spring Field Trip


Karst Hydrogeology of the Ten Mile Creek Watershed

West Knoxville, Tennessee
Saturday, February 28, 2009

Trip Leader: Tom Zondlo


Tom Zondlo lead a day-long field trip in the Ten Mile Creek karst watershed of west Knoxville. This trip complemented his presentation during the February 9 meeting.

The field trip followed the water from the headwaters of Ten Mile Creek on Black Oak Ridge (Stop 1) to the resurgence point at Sinking Creek embayment (Stop 9). Stops 1 and 2 in the upper part of the watershed focused on the ephemeral nature of streamflow and predominance of subsurface flow in that portion of the basin. Stop 3 in the central portion of the watershed provided examples of natural and various induced (injection) infiltration in an area lacking surface streams. That stop also highlighted the difference between surface and groundwater divides and introduced the hydrogeology and flooding issues of the Dutchtown-Cedar Bluff area.

Stops 4 through 6 in the downstream portion of the watershed revealed a range of groundwater discharge conditions and an interesting epikarst example which offered good look at the Lenoir Limestone and associated fossils. At Stop 7, we left the vehicles for about 2 hours and walked into the Ebenezer Sinks area to observe the stratigraphic section, as well as several sinkholes, swallets, and associated karst features. At Stop 8, we followed a portion of the cave system from the ground surface and observed some of the engineering challenges it has posed for the development of residential communities. The trip culminated at Stop 9, where we visited the resurgence spring, several sinkholes and cave entrances, and an old quarry.


Click the links below to see photographs from the trip.

Stop 1 Surface Water Features in the Headwaters Area

Stop 2 Area of Significant Groundwater Discharge Along a Thrust Fault

Stop 3 Groundwater Divides, Karst Features, and Stormwater Engineering

Stop 4 Large Spring

Stop 5 Discharge Zone Along Dip-Oriented Stream Reach

Stop 6 Lenoir Limestone Epikarst in Stormwater Retention Basin

Stop 7 Ebenezer Sinks Area (Multiple Swallets)

Stop 8 Cave System Under Residential Community and Associated Engineering Challenges

Stop 9 Resurgence Area Spring, Caves, and Quarries


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March 1, 2009