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Old 09-26-2019, 01:24 AM
 
Location: Putnam County, TN
574 posts, read 124,866 times
Reputation: 386

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This is how the stream in question goes in the spoiler...

Spoiler
Part 1: Small wash with no water. This begins in the bottom of the field at about 990ft in elevation, starting through the forest and running down to about 940ft.

Part 2: Shale falls. 940-900ft... Year-round water thanks to a decent spring running in, even in the absolute worst of droughts. The flatter parts of the shale bed are getting covered in gravels and mud from the waterfall above.

Part 3: Gradual sink-in, 900-880ft. The water from the section above flows into this section at first, and more springs feed into it, but it gradually sinks in mere feet from the bottom of this section despite gravel becoming LESS (not more) common towards the bottom and our heavy clay soil.

Part 4: Small pond. 880ft. This is an old pond built before my (recently deceased) maternal grandfather moved in and bought the land in the 1980s. Despite the lack of continuous water running in, it holds extremely well (except the top few inches), frequently overflows the dam in winter and gets unreliable input after summer rainfall.

Part 5: Big rut. 870-830ft. This is where the water from the pond goes when it overflows the dam. Again, it flows at first, but it sinks before reaching the bottom despite our clay soil and a momentary local lack of gravel...

Part 6: Dry streambed, 820-760ft. This extremely rarely flows; it used to reliably due to another spring (I heard stories from my mom and uncle's childhoods), but that other spring dried up. It gets flow from Part 5 more often (but still rarely) than from its major tributary.

Part 7: Semi-perennial creek, 760-700ft. At ~760ft in elevation, the dry streambed leads to a permanent pool of water emerging from under tree roots. After this, the stream snakes through the woods (gaining its largest tributary) to a segment ~720ft that it briefly runs underground before re-emerging. Shortly after this, it gains its third-largest tributary and runs beside an old dam I built then partially destroyed as a preteen (I could never fully repair nor fully destroy it despite trying) thanks to a naturally-attempted diversion I helped it fulfill quickly.

Part 8: Ephemeral stream, 700-640ft. Around 700ft in elevation, the stream becomes intermittent with the forest no longer entirely deciduous either; by 680ft, it's dried up to a limestone-bedded medium ephemeral creek and enters a River Cane brake (actually a type of bamboo native to Tennessee); and around 640ft, it finally flows off my mom's/uncle's land onto someone else's, shortly before merging with its parent stream not far above 600ft in elevation (I've studied the topography of my area super well on Google Maps).


How do we make Parts 3 and 5 hold towards the bottom? Dad used sodium bentonite to make the pond hold, and it worked so well that the pond has never dried up since and supports bluegill, mussels, bass, toads, bullfrogs and aquatic plants quite easily.

However, I fear the bentonite may wash out if we try using it in a streambed, and me using clay dug from the uphill edges of our trails would be a lot of work to dig, haul and place (not to mention replacing every time even a small amount eroded).

Using shale surely wouldn't work either because it would have gaps.

How do we stop Parts 3 and 5 of this stream from sinking in completely? Again, it's gradual too, so I can't find any one spot it happens in.
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Old 09-26-2019, 10:50 PM
 
Location: British Columbia ~🌄 ☀️ ♥ 🍁 ♥ ☀️🌄~
8,259 posts, read 7,164,460 times
Reputation: 16965
I think this thread needs pictures of all the features listed.


.
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Old 09-26-2019, 11:00 PM
 
Location: Putnam County, TN
574 posts, read 124,866 times
Reputation: 386
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
I think this thread needs pictures of all the features listed.


.
That'll take a bit of time, but I may do so whenever I get the chance. Thanks!
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Old 10-03-2019, 07:16 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
3,252 posts, read 1,269,659 times
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Water doesn't come UP to the surface to appear visible, the land goes DOWN to the water table for the water to appear on the surface. That's the principle behind digging a well:



If I understand your word description correctly, some sections of your "stream" are running underground for some sections. You'd need to dig down to below the water table if you want them to appear on the surface.


A clay lined depression is made to build an artificial pond. It holds the water above the water table just like a rain barrel keeps water from flowing away naturally. If you line a "stream" to hold water above the water table, the liner would naturally erode away or be under mined by the natural flow....ie- best bet is to deepen the channel if you insist on having the stream be visible over the whole course. (What about erosion even then?)
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Old 01-09-2020, 10:34 PM
 
10,800 posts, read 8,836,710 times
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You mention limestone and a Middle Tennessee location. That means there's a very good chance that your property is karst, with springs, sinking springs (so that waterways only run short distances, sink underground, then emerge again farther on) and very likely caves. If there are any caves or limestone crevices nearby, that would confirm that the area is karst. It's likely you have a sinking stream by nature, and efforts to make it flow its full length are likely to be both frustrating and futile.

Have you considered contacting the state division of water? Not sure of its exact title in Tennessee, but they should help with more information about your property, which sounds wonderful, full-time/full-length creek or not.
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Old 01-11-2020, 04:43 AM
 
Location: Putnam County, TN
574 posts, read 124,866 times
Reputation: 386
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
You mention limestone and a Middle Tennessee location. That means there's a very good chance that your property is karst, with springs, sinking springs (so that waterways only run short distances, sink underground, then emerge again farther on) and very likely caves. If there are any caves or limestone crevices nearby, that would confirm that the area is karst. It's likely you have a sinking stream by nature, and efforts to make it flow its full length are likely to be both frustrating and futile.

Have you considered contacting the state division of water? Not sure of its exact title in Tennessee, but they should help with more information about your property, which sounds wonderful, full-time/full-length creek or not.
We do not have cave entrances nor sinkholes on this property; however, my grandmother that's under 6 miles away has an officially documented cave that's not exactly small and is right by a decent-sized creek. You literally don't even have to cross onto private property to access the cave so long as you're willing to walk from wherever the creek meets a public property, as the cave is directly connected with the creek bed (although it's not a sinkhole).

She also has a sinkhole elsewhere on a her land; it's narrow, but it goes so deep that you can't see the bottom even with a flashlight and can barely hear rocks thrown in hitting the bottom. I believe it probably leads into the cave; it's up on the hillside, but the sinkhole is REALLY deep, and the cave goes quite a ways in. We can't even go all the way back the cave due to a log that's stuck and a ravine that'd be in our way if not for the log, so we can only speculate how much deeper it goes.

However, you may be right. Just because we don't have cave entrances nor visible sinkholes doesn't mean we're not karst. For all we know, there may be caves directly beneath our feet without us knowing, and sinkholes may well form any day in a place like this.
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Old 01-11-2020, 04:10 PM
 
Location: on the wind
8,892 posts, read 3,881,809 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
Have you considered contacting the state division of water? Not sure of its exact title in Tennessee, but they should help with more information about your property, which sounds wonderful, full-time/full-length creek or not.
This is the best advice in the thread. Modifying, interrupting (even temporarily), permanently altering instream water flow or water quality can get you in all sorts of trouble if you aren't careful. Plus, a hydrologist's advice before you start would be a big bonus.
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Old 01-12-2020, 12:43 AM
 
Location: Putnam County, TN
574 posts, read 124,866 times
Reputation: 386
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parnassia View Post
This is the best advice in the thread. Modifying, interrupting (even temporarily), permanently altering instream water flow or water quality can get you in all sorts of trouble if you aren't careful. Plus, a hydrologist's advice before you start would be a big bonus.
Agreed. Perhaps we should. Although I'm very tempted to give up, as I have things that mean more to me in life now than that (e.g. finding a boyfriend, finding the right friends, running an evergreen nursery) and seem to probably be in a karst area (as CraigCreek said) but just not extremely obviously.

In fact, I saw someone recently built a concrete ford across Indian Creek in western Putnam County while riding around, which is a TWRA-monitored stream and has considerably large year-round water flow (even in most droughts) to the point of being safely canoe-able and full of fish. When I first noticed it, I stated that I was worried about whether they got permission from TWRA or the EPA because that stream is monitored regularly, still scores well in biodiversity and is large enough that even the interstate has to bridge it like a lake or river. (It even literally flooded the entire downtown of Buffalo Valley in the 1920s, and there are still pics of it at the old Buffalo Valley School to this day.)
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Old 01-13-2020, 03:35 PM
 
10,800 posts, read 8,836,710 times
Reputation: 19705
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sun Belt-lover L.A.M. View Post
We do not have cave entrances nor sinkholes on this property; however, my grandmother that's under 6 miles away has an officially documented cave that's not exactly small and is right by a decent-sized creek. You literally don't even have to cross onto private property to access the cave so long as you're willing to walk from wherever the creek meets a public property, as the cave is directly connected with the creek bed (although it's not a sinkhole).

She also has a sinkhole elsewhere on a her land; it's narrow, but it goes so deep that you can't see the bottom even with a flashlight and can barely hear rocks thrown in hitting the bottom. I believe it probably leads into the cave; it's up on the hillside, but the sinkhole is REALLY deep, and the cave goes quite a ways in. We can't even go all the way back the cave due to a log that's stuck and a ravine that'd be in our way if not for the log, so we can only speculate how much deeper it goes.

However, you may be right. Just because we don't have cave entrances nor visible sinkholes doesn't mean we're not karst. For all we know, there may be caves directly beneath our feet without us knowing, and sinkholes may well form any day in a place like this.
If you can, take a look at the USGS - UG Geological Survey - map or maps of your property. They usually show caves and always show elevation, waterways, and other natural features.

It certainly sounds as if you are in karst area, from your description. Your grandmother's sinkhole and cave sound fascinating, and I'll bet your local college or university would be interested in visiting them (field trip for geology students, perhaps).
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:02 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
12,705 posts, read 32,538,191 times
Reputation: 8552
Here in WV that called a Dry Run where there is only water in it when the ground is Soaked... it supports nothing but Mosquitoes
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