Date of Graduation

Summer 2020


Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences


Geography, Geology, and Planning

Committee Chair

Doug Gouzie


The Big Four Springs region hosts four major first-order magnitude springs in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. These springs are Big Spring (Carter County, MO), Greer Spring (Oregon County, MO), Mammoth Spring (Fulton County, AR), and Hodgson Mill Spring (Ozark County, MO). Based on historic dye traces and hydrogeological investigations, these springs drain an area of approximately 1500 square miles and collectively discharge an average of 780 million gallons of water per day. The rocks from youngest to oldest that are found in Big Four Springs region are the Cotter and Jefferson City Dolomite (Ordovician), Roubidoux Formation (Ordovician), Gasconade Dolomite (Ordovician), and the Eminence Dolomite (Cambrian).

The objectives of this study were to (1) establish the baseline geochemistry data of the Big Four Springs, providing insight on water-quality conditions, (2) Investigate calcite and dolomite saturation of the Big Four Springs and determine water type, (3) Determine whether the spring chemistries are significantly different from each other using a multivariate statistical approach.

The geochemical evaluation was completed using geochemical software (PHREEQC and GW_Chart). Groundwater samples from the Big Four Springs were undersaturated with respect to calcite and dolomite. The predominant water type of the study area is magnesium-calcium-bicarbonate. The statistical analysis revealed that the chemistries at each spring site are significantly different from each other. The linear discriminant analysis in SAS 9.4 classified 100 percent of randomly selected groundwater samples from the study area to their respective spring locations. The statistical analysis provides insight into the independent recharge areas of the Big Four Spring Region.


karst, springs, geochemistry, groundwater, water quality, linear discriminant function analysis

Subject Categories

Applied Statistics | Environmental Monitoring | Geology | Hydrology | Multivariate Analysis | Statistical Models


© Jordan Jasso Vega

Open Access