There’s Something in the Water: An Analysis of of the Chemical Composition of the Sagamore, Killbuck Creek, and Upper Floridan Aquifer

Name: S. R. Troen
Major: Environmental Geoscience
Advisor: Dr. Shelley Judge
Aquifers are commonly used as sources of fresh water but are very susceptible to contamination. In order to track contamination, the chemical composition of an aquifer should be known. This research aims to supply background chemical compositions of three distinct aquifers, the Upper Floridan aquifer, the Sagamore aquifer, and the Killbuck Creek aquifer. The chemicals considered for this research are magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), and sulfate ions (SO4) which are compared against calcium (Ca). This research has found trends within the individual aquifers and distinctions when compared against each other. The Upper Floridan aquifer is located on the southeastern coast of the United States and is part of the larger Floridan aquifer system. It is uniquely large and has a combined structure of confined and unconfined, leading to varied levels for risk of contamination. Within this aquifer, the chemicals, Mg, Na, and SO4, show a negative trend when compared with Ca. The Sagamore aquifer is located on the southeast coast of Massachusetts. Overall, chemical compositions of this aquifer are in higher concentrations near and in kettle ponds than in areas that are farther away from these features and has an overall positive trend. The Killbuck Creek aquifer is a buried valley aquifer located in northeast Ohio. This aquifer has no connections with any other groundwater, although it has connections with some surface water streams and rivers. Within this aquifer, the chemicals, Mg, Na, and SO4, show a positive linear trend when compared with Ca. When aquifer chemicals are compiled together, the kettle ponds found within the Sagamore aquifer contain chemical concentrations that are distinctly grouped and separate from the concentrations found in other aquifers. The Upper Floridan aquifer has concentrations that are more random than the Killbuck Creek aquifer, allowing it to have concentrations that are both greater and less than those found within the Upper Floridan aquifer.

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S. R. will be online to field comments on April 16:
2-4pm EDT (PST: 11am-1pm, Africa/Europe: evening)

Posted in I.S. Symposium 2021, Independent Study on April 10, 2021.