Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program



Geology and Geophysics

Major Professor

Easley, Dale

Second Advisor

Stoessell, Ronald

Third Advisor

Busch, William


The Baton Rouge Fault (BRF), a growth fault, traverses Baton Rouge Parish, the study area. This fault is a part of the Baton Rouge Fault System (BRFS), located in South Louisiana. There are ten aquifers in the Baton Rouge area, which are the main source of freshwater. Beds dip and thicken toward the south. Aquifers in the Baton Rouge area are disrupted by the BRF. Aquifers contain fresh water in the updip (north of the BRF) and saline water in the downdip (south of the BRF) directions. Saline water has intruded into some of the aquifers north of the BRF as a result of overpumping. It was assumed until 2000 that the BRF is acting as a leaky barrier for the movement of saline water north of the fault. Later, in 2002 two abstracts assert that this fault is acting as a conduit. The main purpose of this work was to analyze this controversy by reviewing previous literature, modeling, and chemical analysis. This work has been done using the USGS model "MOCDENSE", a density-driven 2-D fluid flow. Five different scenarios have been developed. Chemical analysis has been done using available USGS data sources and data collected by Professor Stoessell. Modeling indicates that the fault can act as either a leaky barrier or a conduit for saline water to migrate north of the fault. Chemical analysis also shows a dual role is likely.


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