Date of Graduation

Summer 2010


Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences


Geography, Geology, and Planning

Committee Chair

Douglas Gouzie


karst hydrology, dye tracing, lineaments, groundwater, Springfield, Missouri

Subject Categories

Hydrology | Water Resource Management


Quantitative groundwater tracers provide valuable information about groundwater movement. Four groundwater tracing experiments were performed in Springfield, Missouri to establish connections between sinkholes and springs within the Ward Branch Watershed. Hourly water samples collected during each of the traces were analyzed using a spectrofluorometer, and the results were used to develop hydrographs for each trace. Analyses of each hydrograph were used to aid in the interpretation and determination of a hypothesized groundwater flow network within the watershed. Each of the four sinkholes was found to connect to the same springs located within the watershed with average flow velocities ranging 0.22-0.35 ft/second to the eastern spring, and 0.11-0.27 ft/second to the western spring. Two sinkholes on the west side of the study area, and a losing creek did not appear to form along a single trend, although a north-south trending fracture likely connects the sinkholes to the eastern spring. The fracture intersects a southwest trending lineament directly connecting the sinkholes to the west spring. The easternmost sinkhole connected directly to the eastern spring, and took multiple paths to reach the western spring. This research provided insight into the complexity of the underground water networks along Ward Branch, and will help in planning for future growth in the area.


© Katherine Michelle Tomlin

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