Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Dean Whitman

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

René M. Price

Third Advisor's Name

Xavier Comas

Fourth Advisor's Name

Oren V. Maxwell

Fifth Advisor's Name

Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm


Hydraulic Anisotropy, Electrical Anisotropy, Biscayne aquifer, Karst, Electrical resistivity imaging, Ground Penetration Radar, Self Potential, Square Array, Miami Limestone, Groundwater, Salt Water Intrussion

Date of Defense



The anisotropy of the Biscayne Aquifer which serves as the source of potable water for Miami-Dade County was investigated by applying geophysical methods. Electrical resistivity imaging, self potential and ground penetration radar techniques were employed in both regional and site specific studies. In the regional study, electrical anisotropy and resistivity variation with depth were investigated with azimuthal square array measurements at 13 sites. The observed coefficient of electrical anisotropy ranged from 1.01 to 1.36. The general direction of measured anisotropy is uniform for most sites and trends W-E or SE-NW irrespective of depth. Measured electrical properties were used to estimate anisotropic component of the secondary porosity and hydraulic anisotropy which ranged from 1 to 11% and 1.18 to 2.83 respectively. 1-D sounding analysis was used to models the variation of formation resistivity with depth. Resistivities decreased from NW (close to the margins of the everglades) to SE on the shores of Biscayne Bay. Porosity calculated from Archie's law, ranged from 18 to 61% with higher values found along the ridge. Higher anisotropy, porosities and hydraulic conductivities were on the Atlantic Coastal Ridge and lower values at low lying areas west of the ridge. The cause of higher anisotropy and porosity is attributed to higher dissolution rates of the oolitic facies of the Miami Formation composing the ridge. The direction of minimum resistivity from this study is similar to the predevelopment groundwater flow direction indicated in published modeling studies. Detailed investigations were carried out to evaluate higher anisotropy at West Perrine Park located on the ridge and Snapper Creek Municipal well field where the anisotropy trend changes with depth. The higher anisotropy is attributed to the presence of solution cavities oriented in the E-SE direction on the ridge. Similarly, the change in hydraulic anisotropy at the well field might be related to solution cavities, the surface canal and groundwater extraction wells.





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