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Scholars Day: April 7, 2010

Determining the Source of Conduit Flow at Buttermilk Falls, Le Roy NY

The purpose of this study is to characterize groundwater and stream water in a study area surrounding Buttermilk Falls. Buttermilk Falls is formed from Oatka Creek eroding the Onondaga Escarpment and exposing the fractures and bedding plains of limestone. Oatka Creek is a karst stream that interacts with sinkholes, fractures and exposed bedrock, making it highly susceptible to groundwater-surface water interactions. Samples were collected throughout the study area to represent groundwater, stream water, conduit flow and downstream flow. After statistical analysis only calcium, magnesium, total phosphorous and soluble reactive phosphorous could be applied to the mixing models. Two end member mixing models were run to calculate percentages for conduit flow and downstream flow. The mixing models showed that the conduit flow could be comprised of anywhere from 97% to 34% stream flow. The downstream mixing model showed that it could be comprised of anywhere between 91% to 45% stream water.

Presenter: Jill Libby (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Earth Science
Location: 104 Holmes
Time: 2:30 pm (Session IV)