Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Michael English

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


During the period of December 19, 1987 to March 28, 1988, the unsaturated and shallow saturated groundwater zones under two agricultural land use sites, near Waterloo, Ontario, were investigated to determine the effect of snowmelt percolation on the groundwater quality. Periods of widely fluctuating temperatures and sporadic rain events produced large changes in snowpack water equivalence. The resulting infiltration of snowmelt significantly altered the extent of the saturated area and the concentration of N (nitrogen) ions in both the soil column and percolate water. An N flux from the vadose (unsaturated) zone to the shallow phreatic (saturated) zone, occurring in association with snowmelt events, suggests that mineralization of organic soil N and N fertilizer residues occurred during wetting/drying and freeze/thaw cycles. It is demonstrated that N input from precipitation is minor in respect to the total mass of N exported from the vadose zone.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Included in

Hydrology Commons