Project Title: Application of Sequence Stratigraphy, Geochemistry, and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance to Delineate Heterogeneous Ground-Water Flow in Karstic Platform Carbonates
Mendenhall Fellow: Lee Florea, Department of Geology and Geography, Western Kentucky University, Lee.Florea@wku.edu, (270) 745-5982
Duty Station: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Start Date: October 1, 2006
End Date: August 1, 2008
Education:Ph.D. (Geology) University of South Florida, 2006
Research Advisors: Kevin Cunningham, (954) 377-5913, firstname.lastname@example.org; Peter Swarzenski, (831) 427-4729, email@example.com
Project Description: Lee presently has three research focuses within the Biscayne aquifer of southeast Florida.
The first project investigates the geochemistry, microbiology, and isotopic fractionation of surface water, cave water, and shallow groundwater in the karstified limestone hammocks of Everglades National Park. Of particular interest are (1) the variation of the calcite saturation index through seasonal changes of water levels and recharge, (2) organic and inorganic carbon flux from the surface through the porous rock and into the cave, and (3) the role of bacteria in the dissolution of the limestone rock of the Everglades. This project is a collaborative effort with Everglades National Park, USGS St. Petersburg, and the Department of Geology and College of Marine Science at the University of South Florida.
The second project explores the use of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) imaging to quantify the hydraulic properties of groundwater flow through preferred flow units in the Pleistocene Biscayne aquifer of southeast Florida. We have acquired digital reproductions of intensely-burrowed limestone samples by using Computer-Aided Tomography (CT-scans). A subset of these digital data form the basis for benchtop replicas printed using cutting-edge prototype printers. NMR imaging reveals the velocity vectors of flowing water in the model and allows the evaluation of the advective and dispersive properties of the preferred flow zones. These data provide a benchmark for concurrent numerical models using Lattice-Boltzman techniques. This project is a collaborative effort with New Mexico Resonance and Florida International University.
CT-scan of intensely-burrowed, preferred flow zone within th Biscayne aquifer of southeast Florida. These data will form the basis for bechtop replicas and Lattice-Boltzman numerical models.
The third project continues the long-term work of Kevin Cunningham and involves down-well geophysics and optical borehole imaging of Pleistocene carbonates in southeast Florida. Of particular interest is expanding this work to understand long-term sea level fluctuations on the Florida platform and how they relate to the known marine terraces, paleoshorelines, and cave levels of west-central Florida. Additional plans are to extend the down-well work to similar Pleistocene carbonate platforms, such as in the Bahamas.
Lee has several active projects outside of his fellowship. For example, he is sitting Director of the National Speleological Society, and is presently writing “Roadside Geology of Kentucky” and coauthoring “Atlas of the Great Caves of the World.” Additionally, Lee is collaborating with the University of Cluj to use Ground Penetrating Radar to study an in-cave glacier in Peştera Scarişoara of the Apuseni Mountains of western Romania. Lee remains active in cave mapping and geological research in his Kentucky homeland.
Lee Florea surveying the depths of Jugornot Cave, a 10-km long cave system in southern Kentucky that he mapped from 2001 through 2005. Lee’s research in this cave revealed a Cambrian-age normal fault at depth (photo by Kevin Toepke).
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Last modified: 16:08:28 Thu 13 Dec 2012