Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The City of Hays, Kansas depends on the underlying Big Creek aquifer for part of its partial water supply. The Big Creek aquifer consists of unconsolidated consists of unconsolidated alluvial deposits making it suitable for water retention and replenishment. This aquifer has been conducive to supplying Hays with water for many years. However, with the expected growth of the city coupled with the already limited source, concern for the protection of the water supply has increased. This raises the question of how to protect this valuable resource from depletion. A GIS related investigation of the effects of anthropogenic land uses and aquifer characteristics was completed on and surrounding Hays, Kansas. Data for this investigation was collected from the City of Hays and DASC, ARC/INFO, ARC/VIEW, and Surfer were used to create additional coverages to be combined and analyzed. Coverages created illustrated amount of impermeable material, soils reclassification, and unsaturated thickness. These layers were examined together for their respective effects on the recharge of the underlying aquifer. This investigation determined that anthropogenic landuses affect an area's ability to allow recharge. In areas with high impermeability percentages, a high-unsaturated thickness existed. Natural characteristics of an aquifer were examined to determine whether or not the high unsaturated thickness was a result of the soil’s inability to allow for recharge to readily occur. However, soil with high-recharge capability was abundant within the area allowing for recharge to readily occur. This investigation concluded that anthropogenic landuses reduced recharge capability and resulted in a high-unsaturated thickness.


Ken Neuhauser

Date of Award

Spring 1998

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1998 Laura L. Rand


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