Publication Date

Fall 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




June A. Oberdorfer


Ground water recharge, Hydrogeological relation, Preferential flow, Unsaturated zone, Water infiltration, Water-table fluctuation

Subject Areas

Geology; Hydrologic sciences; Water resources management


This study tested the applicability of the Episodic Master Recession method and utilized the source-responsive flow theory to quantify ground water recharge and simulate preferential flow in the vadose zone at the Masser Recharge Site in east-central Pennsylvania. The ground water recharge shows strong seasonal variations. The shallow fractures form preferential flow paths and predominate in the vadose zone recharge processes, as reflected in the ground water-table elevation rise. They also influence the ground water-table recession rate, reflected in the rapid water-table recession in the deeper well with a high hydraulic conductivity fractured zone. Most importantly, the source-responsive flow model was able to predict closely the well water-level fluctuation over six months of wet-season recharge events with parameters assigned to this site. The calibrated parameters are reasonable for the fracture frequency and can serve as basis for predictions when applied to the following wet-season precipitation record.