Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Geology and Geography

Committee Chair

J. Steven Kite

Committee Co-Chair

Doug Boyer

Committee Member

Dorothy Vesper


Groundwater contamination is a potential major health and environmental issue in karst aquifers because of rapid surface water to groundwater connections and conduit-dominated flow that may allow contaminants to move great distances from their source in a very short amount of time. Agricultural contaminants are a significant problem in Buckeye Creek basin in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. Pasquarell and Boyer (1995) found that cattle grazing near sinking streams, sinkholes, and springs contribute to the elevated levels of fecal coliform bacteria in the groundwater. Six sites in Buckeye Creek basin were monitored for fecal coliform contamination and then analyzed in order to determine where best management practices (BMPs) could result in the most effective water quality improvement. Water quality variables including fecal coliform density and fecal coliform loading were used to develop a methodology for prioritizing the monitored sites for BMP implementation. Models using existing dye traces and GIS-based data were used to identify the key areas contributing contamination to these sites. Three sites in the basin were found to be high priority areas for BMP implementation and potential contamination source areas were identified for these sites.