Ziqian Li

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Geological and Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Duane R. Hampton

Second Advisor

Dr. R.V. Krishnamurthy

Third Advisor

Dr. Chansheng He


Stable isotope, shallow groundwater, groundwater-surface water interaction, electrical conductivity, groundwater dependent stream

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Groundwater is a significant fresh water source in most areas and can be affected by potential changes to climate and precipitation from anthropogenic influences. Considering groundwater and surface water can be regarded as one hydrologic system, it is significant to understand the dynamics between precipitation, shallow groundwater and surface water in order to manage these resources.

Water samples were collected roughly biweekly from July 2016 to June 2017, and analyzed for electrical conductivity and stable isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen. During sample collection site visits, stream discharge and the groundwater heads from different wells were measured.

The stable isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen were indicators for understanding how precipitation discharged into groundwater at the headwaters of the White River, Manistee National Forest, MI. Based on the stable isotopes found in precipitation (rain and snow), groundwater and surface water (stream and springs) samples, and the measured conductance of these samples, the contribution of groundwater to surface water at the field site was estimated using simplified mixing models. As might be expected in the headwaters of a river, the contribution of groundwater to the stream waters was 92 percent and above.