Date of Award

Fall 1985

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean & Earth Sciences



Committee Director

Joseph H. Rule

Committee Member

Dennis A. Darby

Committee Member

G. Richard Whittecar

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.G4M35


Groundwater chemistry around the Chesapeake municipal landfill was monitored over a one year period. Ten sample sites as well as two surface water sites were used to monitor water quality. Two wells, one at 3 m and the other at 10 m were located at each site. Surface water samples were taken from the Elizabeth River, north of the landfill, and a tidal channel, west of the landfill. Seven groundwater sites were downgradient of the landfill and three sites were upgradient (control sites).

The landfill overlies a tidal marsh, approximately 100 m south of the intracoastal waterway (Elizabeth River). Dredge spoils overlying a marsh clay-muck separate the landfill from the waterway to the north. To the east and south is a sandy loam soil and to the west is a tidal marsh. The underlying aquifer is fairly homogeneous vertically and horizontally, consisting of medium to fine, moderately sorted sand which is strongly fine-skewed leptokurtic.

Groundwater and surface water samples were monitored for pH, Eh, temperature, conductivity, salinity, hardness, NO3, NO2, TKN, TPO4, OPO4, SO4, Cl, Na, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, and Zn. ANOUA and factor analysis aided in identifying sources of variance in the parameters measured. Conductivity, salinity, hardness, sulfate, sodium, chloride, and magnesium, though present in high concentrations in the leachate, were most indicative of the surface water. Potassium, total and orthophosphate, and TKN best characterized the leachate.

Tidal fluctuation had no observable impact on the groundwater chemistry, though there did appear to be some seasonal influence on the leachate concentration.


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