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Featured article from geoscience journal

Developments in Sedimentology, 2012, Vol 68, p. 869-896
Carbonate Aquifers

Only limited hydrogeological research has been conducted using ichnology in carbonate aquifer characterization. Regardless, important applications of ichnology to carbonate aquifer characterization include its use to distinguish and delineate depositional cycles, correlate mappable biogenically altered surfaces, identify zones of preferential groundwater flow and paleogroundwater flow, and better understand the origin of ichnofabric-related karst features. Three case studies, which include Pleistocene carbonate rocks of the Biscayne aquifer in southern Florida and Cretaceous carbonate strata of the Edwards–Trinity aquifer system in central Texas, demonstrate that (1) there can be a strong relation between ichnofabrics and groundwater flow in carbonate aquifers and (2) ichnology can offer a useful methodology for carbonate aquifer characterization. In these examples, zones of extremely permeable, ichnofabric-related macroporosity are mappable stratiform geobodies and as such can be represented in groundwater flow and transport simulations.