2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (19–22 October 2014)

Paper No. 208-50
Presentation Time: 9:15 PM


COWLING, Owen and NOLL, Mark R., Department of the Earth Sciences, SUNY College at Brockport, 350 New Campus Dr, Brockport, NY 14420, ocow1@brockport.edu

Surface water and shallow water table aquifers may be impacted by human activity. In the lake plain region of western New York natural influences on shallow groundwater and surface water chemistry may come from upwelling of deeper groundwater. Within the Sandy Creek watershed, human impact may be due to road salt application or a closed regional municipal waste landfill. In this study, we completed a detailed sampling of Sandy Creek and of groundwater wells in the area around the closed landfill. Both well and stream sampling locations include up gradient sites. Samples were analyzed for major cations and anions, and trace metals by ICP and colorimetric methods. Chloride results are typical and likely one of the best indicators. Results of analyses surface water samples range from 116 to 207 mg L-1 chloride. The spatial distribution found that the western branch had the highest concentrations, decreasing from 207 mg L-1 at the up gradient location in the Village of Albion to 167 mg L-1 where it meets the east branch. Concentrations in the east branch are lower, averaging 140 mg L-1. Groundwater samples range from 228 to 495 mg L-1. The up gradient wells and one located immediately down gradient from the landfill vary little with concentrations ranging from 228 to 238 mg L-1. The well with the anomalous concentration is located further downstream and on the opposite side of the stream from the landfill. Furthermore, it is not located near any major roads. This suggests that upwelling groundwater that has interacted with regional evaporite beds and road salt from a local urban center are the cause of elevated dissolved solids within the watershed.