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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Isotopic analyses of d18O and d2H of water through the hydrologic cycle have allowed hydrologists to make better interpretations related to climate and relationships between precipitation, surface water, and groundwater. In this study 394 precipitation samples 1917 surface water samples and 1405 groundwater samples across Massachusetts was used to create an isoscape for each respective water. All samples have been collected by volunteers throughout Massachusetts. A state meteoric water line: d2H = 7.7*d18O + 9.8, surface water line: d2H = 5.7*d18O – 4.2, and groundwater line: d2H = 6.5*d18O + 2.9 was created for the state of Massachusetts. The d18O isoscape for each of the above-mentioned waters shows an isotopic separation along an east-west topographic gradient where isotopes were enriched in the eastern portion of Massachusetts and depleted in the western portion of Massachusetts. Precipitation, surface water, and groundwater show unique isotopic variability. The isotopic variability of precipitation is primarily due to seasonality, moisture source and differences in topography across Massachusetts. The d18O and d2H isotopic variability of surface water is due to a biasing of precipitation as well an enrichment due to an open water system as the surface water dataset correlates with surface water type and precipitation isotopic values. The d18O and d2H isotopic variability of groundwater is due to the dampening of surface water and precipitation because of hydrogeologic processes and the biasing of surface waters that have gone through open water isotopic variability.


First Advisor

David F. Boutt