Environmental Geology

, Volume 45, Issue 4, pp 550–559 | Cite as

Influences of agricultural practices on water quality of Tumbling Creek cave stream in Taney County, Missouri

  • H. Neill
  • M. Gutiérrez
  • T. Aley
Original Article


Influences of agricultural practices on water quality of the Tumbling Creek cave stream are of particular interest because of the karst nature of the area and the recent implementation of a Better Management Practice (BMP). Water quality parameters, measured bi-weekly during one year, consisted of pH, turbidity, water temperature, specific conductivity, total dissolved solids, alkalinity, and chloride. Heavy metals, nutrient and bacteria levels were also monitored during the study. Effects of land use were most obvious in turbidity, nitrate, chloride, and bacteria levels. Sites within the recharge area that pose a major threat to its water quality were identified. Results provide a baseline for these water quality parameters and their seasonal variability that can be used in future studies to address the effects of water quality and stream sediment contamination on the cave’s ecosystem and to determine the effectiveness of the BMP implemented in this karst area.


Karst Water quality Agricultural practices Cave Groundwater Ozarks Missouri 



The authors would like to thank Ozark Underground Laboratory staff for their assistance throughout this study, Dr. R. Cammack for guidance with GIS and Dr. Biagoni for assistance with chemical analysis. Gratitude is extended to the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks and Steve VanRhein for use of laboratory equipment and guidance. Funding for this project was provided by Southwest Missouri State University Graduate College and the GK-12 Teaching Fellows National Science Foundation grant.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography, Geology and PlanningSouthwest Missouri State University SpringfieldUSA
  2. 2.Ozark Underground LaboratoryProtemUSA

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