Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Fall 2012

Document Type



Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Suzanne Anderson

Second Advisor

Holly Barnard

Third Advisor

Dale Miller


This study uses quantitative and qualitative methods to constrain groundwater properties through 7 springs located in Gordon Gulch, Colorado. The questions this research addresses the water table’s contribution to the intermittent nature, what are their sources, and what is their contribution to the stream. Samples were taken by hand and with an auto sampler to be analyzed for Cl, SO4, NO3, Si, Mg, Ca, Na, and K. The findings were that, during baseflow, the springs are source by groundwater, groundwater is the major contributing source to the stream channel, and the groundwater table is not homogenous. These findings give a better picture into the hillslope hydrological processes of Gordon Gulch to lay a foundation for others to better understand land use. The study was written for an undergraduate thesis, and was made possible by funding from the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Fund and the Boulder Creek Critical Zone Observatory.