College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
All hydrogeological processes occur within the framework of a flow system. Consequently, characterizing the flow system is essential to nearly every hydrogeological investigation, from determining contaminant impacts at a water supply well to understanding groundwater-surface water interactions. As a field based, physical hydrogeologist, Dr. Meyer looks for creative ways to collect and interpret field data to provide insight into natural flow system conditions in heterogeneous geologic settings. She is particularly interested in understanding the relationship between the hydraulic and geologic structure of the subsurface. Dr. Meyer’s approach involves three broad strategies: 1) prioritizing data collection from continuous cores, temporarily sealed boreholes, and high resolution, depth discrete multilevel systems to be most representative of flow system conditions away from the altered condition of the borehole, 2) collecting highly resolved spatial and temporal field data to reduce uncertainty, 3) collecting numerous, complementary field data sets to provide multiple lines of evidence to constrain interpretations and conclusions. Currently, Dr. Meyer is applying this approach to advance quantitative characterization of sedimentary rock flow systems in three ways: 1) using hydraulic head profiles as a fundamental diagnostic tool for flow system characterization, 2) defining the relationship between hydraulic conductivity contrasts and stratigraphy, and 3) advancing our understanding of bedrock aquitards.