Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Kaufman, Ron (Professor of geology)

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Geology


Groundwater--Illinois--De Kalb County--Health aspects; Agricultural pollution--Illinois--De Kalb County


The objects of this study were to determine the extent of agricultural contamination of the ground water in DeKalb County, Illinois and, using hydrogeochemical data, to determine the susceptibility of aquifers to contamination. Aquifers were grouped into hydrostratigraphic units using discriminant analysis and this grouping provided a basis for drafting a susceptibility map of the county using factor analysis. The study included 26 ground water sites and one surface water site which were sampled bi-weekly between February and August 1989. Samples were analyzed for cations, including calcium, magnesium, and potassium, and anions, including nitrate and bicarbonate. Pesticide analyses were conducted twice during the study period, once in winter and again in summer. There were no pesticide detections in any of the wells or the surface water site. Nitrate concentrations remained below 6 ppm in all wells but exceeded the U.S.E.P.A. drinking water limit of 10 ppm in the Kishwaukee River. Using discriminant analysis, the 26 wells were grouped into 3 hydrostratigraphic groups based on chemical characteristics. A susceptibility map was generated using factor analysis for each hydrostratigraphic unit. The susceptibility maps from the current study do not agree with earlier count susceptibility maps, which were based on surface deposits. Nor is there complete agreement between the current study and earlier hydrostratigraphic maps. The differences may reflect leaky aquifer conditions or leaky wells. Further study with a higher well density should resolve this issue.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [135]-148).


xiii, 256 pages




Northern Illinois University

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