Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Geological and Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. W. Thomas Straw

Second Advisor

Dr. Alan Kehew

Third Advisor

Dr. Richard Passero

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


A study of ground-water contamination in a shallow, sandy, glacial drift aquifer was performed in a watershed dominated by swine feedlots and crop fields in Cass County, Michigan. Monitoring wells were installed and sampled to study the flow pattern, chemistry, and contamination of ground water.

Results of chemical analyses show contamination from fertilizers and other soil-applied chemicals as well as the infiltration of breakdown products from pig waste. Shallow wells in impacted areas show potassium and nitrate from the breakdown of fertilizers, calcium from field application of lime, and additional nitrate from pig waste. Elevated calcium, potassium, and nitrate concentrations were observed in shallow wells and decreased with depth. Contamination effects were generally confined to upper zones of the aquifer because of the local ground-water flow pattern and the stratigraphy of the glacial drift.