Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Arpita Nandi

Committee Members

T. Andrew Joyner, Ingrid Luffman


For aesthetic, economic, and health-related reasons, allowable concentrations of iron (Fe) and manganese (Mn) found present in drinking water are 0.3 mg/L and 0.05 mg/L, respectively. Water samples taken from private drinking wells in the rural communities within Buncombe County, North Carolina contain amounts of these metals in concentrations higher than the suggested limits. This study focused on bedrock geology, elevation, saprolite thickness, and well depth to determine factors affecting Fe and Mn. Using ArcGIS 10.2, spatial trends in Fe and Mn concentrations ranges were visualized, and estimates of the metal concentrations were interpolated to unmonitored areas. Results from this analysis were used to create a map that delineates the actual spatial distribution of Fe and Mn. The study also established a statistically significant correlation between Fe and Mn concentrations, which can be attributed to bedrock geology. Additionally, higher Fe in groundwater was concentrated in shallower wells and valley areas.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.