Master's Theses

Date of Award

Spring 1997

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




John R. Ratzlaff


Seventeen surveyed wells were monitored over a 14-month period along Vine Street, Hays, Ellis County, Kansas. Water levels were obtained monthly and increased to bimonthly during the warm months, and the results were compared to precipitation accumulations, well locations, associated lithology, overlying soils, and evapotranspiration were used to determine the relationship between precipitation infiltration and fluctuations of the water table. Graphed data reveal that increased precipitation had an overall positive effect upon the water table. Increasing thickness of silt and clay sediments towards the northern part of the study area retards infiltration, whereas towards the south, thicker sand and gravel sediments increase infiltration, thereby increasing recharge to the Big Creek Aquifer. In order to gain a better understanding of the heterogeneous, unconfined, shallow aquifer, the area of study was divided into thirds revealing different results for the hydraulic gradient and saturated thickness. The Blue Hill Shale's undulating, highly dissected surface has a direct influence upon the direction of groundwater flow and, to an extent, the hydraulic gradient. Pumpage of the public water supply wells changes the direction of groundwater flow, and increases the hydraulic gradient.


Copyright 1997 Karen Schmidt


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