Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Mark Rains, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Kai Rains, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Shawn Landry, Ph.D.


Groundwater Discharge Prediction, GIS Methods, Flow-Weighted Slope, Topographic Wetness Index, Aquifer Outcrop Modelling


Identification and protection of groundwater resources are considerations of increasing interest as climate shifts but can be challenging to accomplish in remote areas. To that end, a series of GIS techniques and weight of evidence approach were applied to determine the feasibility of remotely identifying likely areas of ground discharge. Through the confluence of topographic analyses and a novel geologic dataset, these techniques were found to consistently identify areas characterized by either shallow subsurface or aquifer-fed groundwater discharge or evidence of ephemeral surficial water features. Two distinct GIS techniques to build spatial proxies of the effects of topography and geology on the groundwater flows throughout a region to reasonably estimate groundwater discharge locations. The use of topographically-derived layers including a combination of Flow-Weighted Slope and Drainage Lines was found to be most useful in locating shallow hillslope discharge while a geological layer was found to be necessary in locating deeper, aquifer-fed discharge. Utilizing both methods allowed both categories of groundwater discharge to be accounted for and located remotely. These data layers were compiled into a geodatabase given to stakeholders in the region to enable land and resource managers to most effectively protect the groundwater resources of the region moving forward.