Date of Graduation

8-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Geology (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Geosciences

Advisor

Matthew Covington

Committee Member

Kristen Gibson

Second Committee Member

Ralph Davis

Keywords

E. Coli, Karst, Metegenomic, Sediment, Sequencing, Water

Abstract

Northwest Arkansas has well-developed karst systems, with numerous sinking streams and springs. Karst conduits make it easy for contaminants to enter groundwater systems, degrading the water quality and destroying fragile karst ecosystems. With the increase of urbanization, potential threats in the form of fecal contamination may prove to be more of a problem. The purpose of this research is to compare the difference between microbial communities within two different settings, a karst aquifer and a surface stream. The microbial communities within Blowing Spring Cave and Little Sugar Creek were detected and identified in water and sediment samples. Samples were also analyzed using 16s rRNA metagenomic analysis to examine microbial diversity at the genus level. The results showed diversity was greatest between the water and sediment followed by the locations. Interaction of surface and groundwater allows for the introduction and transport of microbial communities, some of which are unique to urban sources.

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