The aerial photograph above shows the Bucknell campus and surrounding region. The Susquehanna River is readily available for study, as is our on-campus well field, consisting of 5 - 150 foot-deep bedrock wells.
The photo to the left is one of central Pennsylvania's many mountain streams, this one in the nearby Tall Timbers State Park, used in several of our field exercises.
Our Hydrogeology Field Equipment includes:
- Grundfos Redi-Flo Pump and Porta-Reel;
- Slope electronic water level indicators;
- Suite of Global Water level loggers;
- Soiltest Rotary Drilling Rig - this drilling rig is owned by the Civil Engineering Department. We are able to borrow it as needed, and it tows nicely behind our primary field vehicle, a 4wd Chevy Suburban;
- Graphite borehole electrode system that attaches to our Sting/Swift Earth Resistivity Meter;
- Mt. Sopris borehole logging winch and boom;
- Marsh-McBirney "Flo-Mate" and Swoffer 2100 current velocity meters;
- 2 Dell laptop computers;
- Related Geophysical instruments;
- plus: a supply of PVC monitoring well pipe, screens, points and caps; monitoring well bailers, filter sand and bentonite for those days when you get up and feel like driling a well!
In 2002, we began to develop a 5-well hydrogeophysical research site, located on-campus, adjacent to the Bucknell Golf Course (see aerial photo above). Since then many of our students have been exposed to a variety of hydrogeologic methods, some of which were taught by Geology Department Alumni, now working in the consulting field.
The Geology Department has access to the Civil Engineering's Soiltest Rotary Drill Rig, which we used to install over 40 groundwater monitoring wells in the Montandon Wetlands project, located just across the river from Bucknell. In other cases, such in the wetlands proper, or along the floodplain of Buffalo Creek (shown above right) we can use our portable vibracore to sample the subsurface.
Access to local sites, such as the Montandon Wetlands (courtesy of Central Builders Inc.), means that we can easily take students out for groundwater-related field trips to monitor water level changes or other projects. In the right photo, students walk back to the vehicles from a field trip to the wetlands. The tops of some of Bucknell's buildings can be seen in the photo, and lie just across the Susquehanna River.
In the O'Leary Center, a Hydrogeology Lab provides space for equipment storage (more storage space is available in the Carnegie Building) research and class projects.