New Mexico Geological Society Annual Spring Meeting & Ft. Stanton Cave Conference — Abstracts

Using electrical resistivity methods to map cave passages and conduits in the San Solomon Springs karstic aquifer system, West Texas, USA

Lewis Land1 and George Veni1

1National Cave & Karst Research Institute, 1015 Tijeras Ave. NW, suite 200, Albuquerque, NM, 87102, United States,

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Personnel with the National Cave and Karst Research Institute have conducted a series of electrical resistivity (ER) surveys over and beyond mapped portions of Phantom Lake Spring Cave, currently the deepest underwater cave in the United States, and one component of the San Solomon Springs group, a network of karstic springs in far west Texas. Most of the cave is partially or completely flooded with brackish water, and displays on ER profiles as a zone of low electrical resistivity. ER surveys show electrically conductive zones indicative of a flooded conduit more than 400 m beyond the farthest downgradient station in the mapped portion of the cave. A dye trace study conducted in 2013 indicates that water in Phantom Lake Spring Cave flows at a rate of ~1000 m/day through conduits formed in Cretaceous limestone, eventually discharging from San Solomon Spring at Balmorhea State Park, six kilometers east of the cave entrance. Low resistivity anomalies identified on ER surveys conducted west and east of the park probably represent those flooded karstic conduits, supporting the hydrologic link between Phantom Lake Spring Cave and San Solomon Spring.

pp. 46

2022 New Mexico Geological Society Annual Spring Meeting & Ft. Stanton Cave Conference
April 7-9, 2022, Macey Center, Socorro, NM
Online ISSN: 2834-5800