Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. in Engineering Science

Department

Geology and Geological Engineering

First Advisor

Robert Holt

Second Advisor

Gregg Davidson

Third Advisor

Andrew O'Reilly

Abstract

Lafayette County, Mississippi, is located in the northern central part of the state and relies on groundwater resources for all of the municipal water needs in the county. The population is increasing in the county; therefore, groundwater withdrawals are as well. With such a high demand on groundwater, it is important to have an understanding of the historical trends of the groundwater levels to determine is the population is over pumping the available supply. The Meridian-upper Wilcox aquifer and the lower Wilcox aquifer are the two groundwater sources for the county. In order to fully understand the behaviors of these aquifers, a groundwater availability model will need to be created. This thesis is a preliminary study for a future groundwater availability model of Lafayette County. Using historical groundwater data, hydrographs, potentiometric maps were created to show historical trends in the groundwater levels within the two aquifers from 1965-2015. A groundwater balance of the Wilcox aquifers was done to show that the system is at equilibrium and that pumping has led to a decrease in the average head. Using a forward finite difference groundwater model, the average heads of the MUWX aquifer in Lafayette County were modeled from 1980-2020. The modeled heads show a slight response to the increased pumping in the county. The model shows the average heads decrease 6 feet from 1980-2020. A spatially-distributed numerical model will be done in further research to investigate to sustainability of the Wilcox aquifers as a water source with the increasing population of Lafayette County, Mississippi.

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