Honors Theses

Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Geology and Geological Engineering

First Advisor

Andrew O'Reilly

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

This research is part of a wider effort to investigate the decreasing water levels of the Mississippi River Valley Alluvial Aquifer (MRVAA), which is partially located in the Mississippi Delta in northwestern Mississippi. The extent of this research compares laboratory and field based measurements of saturated hydraulic conductivity, known as Ksat, in the vadose zone of the Delta. The soil samples used for the laboratory Ksat tests and textural analysis were collected at various depths from two boreholes near Sky Lake in Belzoni, Mississippi. Each sample was classified by Unified Soil Classification System (USCS) standards after being sieved and tested for liquid and plastic limits. The dry bulk density of the soil cores were also recorded after the laboratory permeameter tests were completed. This data was analyzed to determine a relationship between soil textures and ksat. A directly proportional relationship among depth, soil texture, and Ksat measurements was found. Both boreholes were rich in clays for the first few feet. At one borehole, soil generally coarsened with depth and Ksat increased as well. At the second borehole, there was a weaker trend of Ksat increasing with depth compared to the first borehole, and there was no notable correlation among soil texture and depth. The first borehole had a more typical soil profile that is seen in the Delta. The laboratory Ksat were consistently much smaller than the field Ksat, which is likely due to the lack of macropores and heterogeneity in the soil cores and the small size of the sample tested relative to the volume of soil in the field Ksat tests.

Included in

Geology Commons

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