Date Presented

Spring 5-15-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Environmental Science

First Advisor

Dr. Laura Henry-Stone

Second Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Styrsky

Third Advisor

Dr. David Perault


Groundwater is an important aspect of a watershed, as it is a reservoir for the storage of water. It both releases water to the surface in dry periods and absorbs excess water in wet periods. Precipitation provides surface water that is then absorbed to replenish groundwater. The specific purpose of this research was to determine the recharge rate of the water table after a rainfall event, with a goal to also develop a framework or long-term monitoring of the water table along an urban stream in Lynchburg, Virginia, and to establish baseline groundwater data before a dam is removed from the stream. The groundwater at the study site was monitored over the course of five months using automatic water level sensors in wells. Precipitation data were obtained from the City of Lynchburg’s rain gauges. Recharge rate was measured as the lag time between precipitation and groundwater rise. Graphs of the data showed groundwater fluctuation patterns that reflected precipitation events, while the lag times varied with changes in amount, intensity, and duration of precipitation. The short-term success of this research means that this methodology will be a viable way to monitor groundwater along Blackwater Creek in the long term, which will be useful in tracking changes to the watershed as College Lake is removed and new wetlands are created.