Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Geological and Environmental Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. William Harrison III

Second Advisor

Dr. Alan Kehew

Third Advisor

Dr. David Barnes

Fourth Advisor

Dr. David Lemberg

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Presque Isle County, Michigan, has a long history of ground water quality problems. Aquifer contamination is most likely the result of large fractures in the bedrock allowing surface water to rapidly reach ground water. The purpose of the study is to l) perform a geochemical investigation of ground water in the bedrock aquifer, 2) suggest the type of ground water flow system present in the study area and characterize the aquifer type, and 3) suggest how the flow system might affect the behavior and transport of contaminants.

Water samples were collected from sixteen wells in the Genshaw Formation, three wells and one spring in the Rockport Quarry Formation, four wells in unconsolidated material, and three surface water sites. Samples were analyzed for major ion concentrations and physical parameters. Findings of the study show moderate to extreme variations in water chemistry over time, suggesting the presence of a rapid flow component. A dye trace experiment supports this conclusion.

Based on its landforms and hydrological characteristics, the carbonate aquifer can best be described as a karst aquifer. The aquifer is highly vulnerable to contamination and requires special considerations for its protection.

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Geology Commons