Master of Science (MS)


Geology and Geophysics

Document Type



One of the most pressing issues facing groundwater managers is saltwater intrusion. In coastal Louisiana this issue is especially prevalent. One location that is currently threated by saltwater intrusion is the industrial area of Lake Charles, Louisiana, where three high chloride areas have been detected within the underlying Chicot aquifer. Three sand units of the Chicot aquifer are present in Lake Charles: the 200-foot (200’) sand, the 500’ sand, and the 700’ sand. Groundwater with elevated chloride concentrations was first noticed by industries in the early 1970s. An initial investigation determined that the northern and southern bodies had formed by upwelling of saline groundwater from the 700’ sand. However, the origin of the salinity in the central body was not determined. The objective of this study was to determine the origin of the salinity for the central chloride body. Two sources of data were obtained from wells in the area: (1) spontaneous potential (SP) and resistivity logs from oil and gas and water wells (2) water quality data from United States Geological Survey (USGS) monitoring wells. The result of this study was the creation of a series of isoconcentration contour maps that help illustrate the movement of the saline groundwater in each aquifer layer over time. Results indicate that saline groundwater has been introduced into the aquifer from a variety of sources over time, including surficial contamination and upwelling of brine from the Lockport salt dome.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Wicks, Carol M.