2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 27-9
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


ISIORHO, Solomon A., KIME, Brittany, SMITH, Jared and DAVIS, Branden, Department of Geosciences, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), 2101 East Coliseum Boulevard, Fort Wayne, IN 46805-1499, kimebl01@students.ipfw.edu

As part of an upper level course, students are required to do independent research project as part of their course grade. Also, to foster collaboration and a sense of community, a group research was made a part of their course grade. The group project involved looking at a 154-acre wetland preserve within a one-hour drive from the school. The class hypothesized that the water chemistry would vary across the terrain depending on the type of wetland: marsh, bog, fern, etc. For this year’s group project, the class decided to focus on the water chemistry of the open waters within the preserve.

Thirty water samples were collected from thirteen sites and were tested for nitrate, phosphate, sulfates, pH, conductivity, TDS and temperature. Soil core samples taken at each site were examined and described in the field. The results from the group project indicate that the TDS increases southwestward, the general direction of surface water flow within the preserve. The pH was neutral with a range from 7.05 to 8.90. The nitrate levels ranged from 15.2 to 46.1ppm. A drainage (McCullough) ditch had the highest nitrate levels (37.6 ppm) in the preserve and it also had one of the highest phosphate levels (1.72ppm). The correlation coefficient between the nitrate and phosphate levels is 0.807, and the correlation between the conductivity and TDS is 0.672 as should be expected. The soils were generally rich in clay, some had a rotten egg smell and others had an earthy smell. Students were very appreciative of the opportunity to work together and had ‘fun’ during the day-long group project. The group project will be expanded with subsequent class looking at the variability between the soil types and vegetation.