Year of Publication

2008

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Geology

First Advisor

Dr. Edward W. Woolery

Abstract

Over 7.8 km of seismic reflection data and 2 km of electrical resistivity data were acquired, processed, and interpreted during this multi-method geophysical study. Objectives included the definition of geologic conditions underlying a contaminant plume in McCracken County, western Kentucky, and the determination of the potential for structural control on the rate and direction of plume migration. Both geophysical methods indicate the presence of multiple high-angle normal faults outlining a series of asymmetric grabens ranging in width from 160 m to almost 300 m and striking between N40°E and N45°E. There was agreement between the two methods on fault location and degree of near-surface offset, with offsets of 1 to 2 m observed at 10 to 20 m below ground surface and 3 to 8 m observed at 20 to 30 m depth. Bedrock displacement was generally 2 to 3 times larger, with offsets of 10 to 26 m observed. The faults appear to have originated in the Paleozoic with predominantly normal reactivation occurring as recently as the Pleistocene. The fault strikes generally approximate the orientation of the northwestern contaminant plume. Observed offset of the Regional Gravel Aquifer may form a preferential flow path for contaminant migration.

Included in

Geology Commons

Share

COinS