Flow through the Mammoth Cave Karst aquifer can be very rapid, on the order of 1000's to 10,000's of feet per day. Contaminants entering the karst aquifer can thus be rapidly transported, unfiltered through the conduit system. The karst aquifer is very dynamic, that is, it responds nearly instantaneously to rainfall. Aquifer stage can rise tens of feet in a matter of hours, with numerous records showing stage rises of over 100 feet over the course of one day. Also, chemical and bacteriological properties of the groundwater can change dramatically following rainfall events.
Did You Know?
In 1841, cave owner Dr. John Croghan believed the cave air might cure his patients suffering from tuberculosis. He brought 16 patients into Mammoth Cave that winter and housed them in stone and wood huts. After some perished, they left the cave, for of course the cave air offered no cure.