Earth and Planetary Sciences ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 8-15-2022


Grand Canyon’s ‘water corridor’ includes the Transcanyon Pipeline that conveys water from Roaring Springs near the North Rim to Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim to provide water for the park’s 6.5 million annual visitors. Roaring Springs water has been used at the park and reclaimed at the South Rim Water Reclamation Plant since the 1970s. Our hypothesis is that the pipeline water infiltrates through faults and intermingles with the South Rim groundwater system. We use geochemical tracers to develop mixing models for these waters. Tracers considered are major ions, water isotopologues, radiogenic strontium, and pharmaceuticals. This study has implications for future changes in water quality and supply due to uranium mining and increased local pumping. Other implications are that current plans to change from Roaring Springs to Bright Angel Creek water will increase available water supply and only marginally decrease water quality, but will have adverse consequences of increased turbidity due to flash floods and forest fires.

Degree Name

Earth and Planetary Sciences

Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

Laura Crossey

Second Committee Member

Karl Karlstrom

Third Committee Member

Joseph Galewsky




geochemistry, springs, Arizona, isotopes, pharmaceuticals, waste

Document Type


Available for download on Thursday, August 01, 2024

Included in

Geochemistry Commons