, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 963-974

First online:

Annual Water Budgets for a Seasonally Inundated Sinkhole Wetland

  • A. Jason HillAffiliated withDepartment of Engineering, University of Southern Indiana Email author 
  • , Vincent S. NearyAffiliated withOak Ridge National Laboratory, Energy-Water-Ecosystems Engineering, Environmental Sciences Division

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Annual water budgets spanning 2 years, 2004 and 2005, are constructed for a sinkhole wetland in the Tennessee Highland Rim following conversion of 13 % of the watershed area to impervious surfaces. Surface runoff was the dominant input, with a contribution of 56.4 % of the total. An average of 18.9 % of gross precipitation was intercepted by the canopy and evaporated. Deep recharge varied from 55.5 % (2004) to 52.2 % (2005) of total outflow. Evapotranspiration accounted for 46.2 % of the total losses, with an average of 50.3 % lost from soil profile storage. The annual water budgets indicate that deep recharge is a significant hydrologic function performed by isolated sinkhole wetlands, or karst pans, on the Tennessee Highland Rim. Continued hydrologic monitoring of sinkhole wetlands are needed to evaluate hydrologic function and response to anthropogenic impacts. The regression technique developed to estimate surface runoff entering the wetland is shown to provide reasonable annual runoff estimates, but further testing is needed.


Wetland hydrology Evapotranspiration Water budget