Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. John D. Grace

Second Advisor

Dr. Larry Oppliger

Third Advisor

Dr. Richard Passero

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Groundwater contamination has occurred in the vicinity of the Dowagiac landfill, Dowagiac, Michigan. The groundwater has been degraded by the presence of organic hydrocarbons, trichloroethylene in particular. At least two aquifers are thought to be present in the area with the upper unconfined aquifer being contaminated while a lower confined aquifer remains uncontaminated. This lower aquifer is thought to be protected from above by a clay layer. A combined geophysical survey consisting of seismic refraction and electrical resistivity surveys was conducted to determine the continuity and thickness of this clay layer as well as the extent of the contamination. A continuous clay layer ranging from 20 to 50 feet thick was found throughout the area. Two sources of contamination, the landfill and another site within the area, are indicated by the results. The combination of geophysical techniques proved to be most useful in this hydrogeologic investigation.