Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Geological and Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Alan E. Kehew

Second Advisor

Dr. W. Thomas Straw

Third Advisor

Dr. Richard Passero

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


A regional study of ground-water quality in Barry County, Michigan was conducted using a computerized database from the Science for Citizens Center at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The database, initiated by the Michigan Groundwater Survey, consists of residential well logs and chemical analyses of samples collected from residential wells by the Barry County Health Department. Qualitative and statistical analyses of the data indicate that the glacial drift aquifer is recharging the bedrock aquifer throughout most of the county. Groundwater quality appears to be controlled mainly by the open-system dissolution of carbonate minerals. The water chemistry is also influenced by physical factors such as flow path and landform. Elevated levels of chloride and nitrate in samples collected from approximately 25% of the glacial drift wells suggest that the drift aquifer is being degraded, possibly as a result of land use and waste management practices.