For the past two years, I've been the chief investigator in a study examining the long term ramifications of nitrate contamination in the prairies of central Kansas. Beginning in November of 2017, I collected monthly groundwater samples over the course of a year to monitor annual fluctuations in a number of geochemical constituents. After this sampling period was complete, I ran my data through the PHREEQC geochemical model to constrain the equilibrium constants among the various compounds. Beyond elucidating the chemodynamics of the subsurface, this information has allowed my colleague and I to speculate on the specific pathways by which the excess nitrate is being removed from our study site. To further contextualize my samples, I pulled data from both past studies of the same area and recently installed sampling instruments. This involved the processing and visualization of thousands of data points, for which I used the R programming language extensively. This study is currently being prepared for submission to major hydrologic journals. If all goes according to plan, I hope to have this paper published by May 2020.
R (Data visualization), PHREEQC (Geochemical modeling)
*Click image for link to source code*