Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Civil Engineering

Committee Chair

Brian Waldron

Committee Member

Daniel D.L. Larsen

Committee Member

Scott S.S Schoefernacker


Determination of recharge rates for an urban setting is a complicated process that is subject to variation based on the chosen methodology, as well as the suitability and constraints of each method. The recharge mechanism and rates to the shallow aquifer within Shelby County were assessed using multiple approaches, including the water-table fluctuations (WTF) method (using two approaches), the vadose zone pulsing method, the chemical tracer method, and the identification of areas with potential infrastructure leaks. The water-table fluctuation method generated a total annual recharge rate ranging from 0.12 m/year or 9 % of precipitation (for Sy= 0.1) to 2.17 m/year or 158 % of precipitation (for Sy= 0.3) using the Master Recession Curve (MRC) method. The large disparity in results could be due to the influence of surface water features, additional recharge from underground water infrastructure, and specific yield estimation. However, the vadose zone pulsing method failed to yield any definitive outcomes, while the chemical tracer method revealed the presence of fluoridated municipal water flowing into the shallow aquifer in some areas. The results of WTF appeared to be more coherent and more reasonable than the other approaches. Additional regional-scale techniques and a comprehensive investigation of artificial recharge computation via leakage should be conducted to obtain more accurate estimations of recharge rate.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest


Open Access