Speeding up cave cleanup studied

"It normally takes 20 to 30 years for spills to be cleaned up naturally in an underground water system, but a group of student researchers from Tennessee State University hopes to apply a technique that can speed up the process.
Last month, the students visited Mammoth Cave to study karst and ways contaminant levels in the cave's water system could be reduced.
The technique invented by the students while working at Fort Campbell involves using a chemical similar to dry-cleaning solvent, said environmental engineering professor Tom Byl.
"We did that at Fort Campbell, and it worked like a charm in enhancing fuel degradation," Byl said.
The 20 students who visited Mammoth Cave last month went down deep to develop an understanding of caves.
"Most had never been in a cave before. That was significant," Byl said.
Rick Toomey, director of the Mammoth Cave International Center for Science and Learning, said he was happy to see students' interest in all aspects of the cave.
The students plan to measure car emissions runoff from parking lots and roads around the visitors center in the national park.
"They put down a purification system for the runoff. But no one has ever tested to see if it works," Byl said. "Our hope, of course, is that it does work and clear water is dripping into the caves below."
The projects with Mammoth Cave also work toward another goal: spurring interest among minority students in earth sciences."
Article from: Knoxnews.com

No comments: