Integrated geophysical investigations of Main Barton Springs, Austin, Texas, USA
Barton Springs is a major discharge site for the Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer and is located in Zilker Park, Austin, Texas. Barton Springs actually consists of at least four springs. The Main Barton Springs discharges into the Barton Springs pool from the Barton Springs fault and several outlets along a fault, from a cave, several fissures, and gravel-filled solution cavities on the floor of the pool west of the fault. Surface geophysical surveys [resistivity imaging, induced polarization (IP), self-potential (SP), seismic refraction, and ground penetrating radar (GPR)] were performed across the Barton Springs fault and at the vicinity of the Main Barton Springs in south Zilker Park. The purpose of the surveys was two-fold: 1) locate the precise location of submerged conduits (caves, voids) carrying flow to Main Barton Springs; and 2) characterize the geophysical signatures of the fault crossing Barton Springs pool. Geophysical results indicate significant anomalies to the south of the Barton Springs pool. A majority of these anomalies indicate a fault-like pattern, in front of the south entrance to the swimming pool. In addition, resistivity and SP results, in particular, suggest the presence of a large conduit in the southern part of Barton Springs pool. The groundwater flow-path to the Main Barton Springs could follow the locations of those resistivity and SP anomalies along the newly discovered fault, instead of along the Barton Springs fault, as previously thought.