Date of Award





Earth and Space Science - Environmental Science Track


Earth & Space Science

First Advisor

William Frazier


Groundwater contamination is of increasing environmental concern as many aquifers across the globe have experienced a decrease in water quality in recent time. The growth of the world's population over the last couple of decades has caused a dramatic increase in the rate of groundwater use. One potential source of groundwater contamination is waste material in landfills. The 1 st Division Road Sanitary landfill at Fort Benning Military Reservation was studied to evaluate the potential effect on local groundwater and a leachate plume was recognized using data from 16 groundwater monitoring wells located around the facility. The study site is located in the Coastal Plain Province. The area includes undeformed detrital sedimentary strata of Upper Cretaceous age, formed in coastal and marine environments. Three stratigraphic formations are present at the study area: the Tuscaloosa Formation, the Eutaw Formation and the Blufftown Formation. A three-dimensional mathematical model (MODFLOW/MT3D) was used to simulate the regional groundwater flow and contaminant transport at the site. This model was then used to investigate the migration of chlorinated hydrocarbons (CHCs) and metals in unconfmed high porosity sandstone, indicating that migration for both CHCs and metals were caused by advective transport. In addition, the results also indicated that CHCs migrate by the process of diffusion. However, due to the distance to potential surface receptors as well as dilution, dispersion and retardation, it is predicted that no detectable pollutants will reach surface streams.