Department of Geology

Jonathan Levy

Associate Professor

Ph.D. (1993) University of Wisconsin
117 Culler Hall

My research addresses how to improve our capacity to make reliable and practical predictions of contaminant fate and transport in groundwater systems. The goal of this research is to better understand the threats posed to our groundwater resources and to better protect those resources. My research has included field and modeling investigations of the fate and transport of herbicides in groundwater, delineation of source-water protection areas and development of new techniques to quantify the uncertainty of model predictions and laboratory and modeling investigations of the transport of E. coli bacteria through unconsolidated aquifers material. My latest research focus has been on groundwater/surface-water interaction and investigating the role of the riverbed in controlling riverbank filtration and induced infiltration. This research has involved field experiements in local well fields and groundwater-flow modeling of those sites. It has also involved testing and development of techniques to measure groundwater/surface-water exchange using a large-scale outdoor laboratory aquifer housed at Miami's Ecology Research Center. In addition to the local research, I am also interested in water-quality problems in the industrially-developing world. This interest has led to research and development of new research opportunities in Nepal, Kenya, Zambia and Namibia.

Possible thesis/dissertation topics:

  • Investigating the sources, vulnerability, quality and sustainability of groundwater in Kenya and Malawi.
  • Modeling paleohydrology of southern Jordan.
  • Investigating groundwater/surface-water interaction in southwest Ohio.

Current/recent graduate student research:

  • Samuel Mutiti (Ph.D. 2009) The efficacy of riverbank infiltration on the attenuation of virus contamination at a site of induced infiltration; Use of remote, sensing to find shallow groundwater resources in an arid region of southern Kenya; Use of temperature modeling to explore the temporal variability of riverbed hydraulic conductivity.
  • Tedros Berhane (Ph.D. in progress) Transport and fate of emerging contaminants in areas of induced infiltration in southwest Ohio: laboratory column and field investigations.
  • Agnieszka Marchlewska (M.S. in progress) Impact of storm events on riverbed hydraulic conductivity: investigations using heat flow modeling and relationships to river velocity, stage and riverbed scour.

Selected publications:

Mutiti, S., and Levy, J. (2010) Using temperature modeling to investigate the temporal variability of riverbed hydraulic conductivity during storm events. Journal of Hydrology, 388: 321-334.

Mutiti, S., Levy, J., Mutiti, C., and Gaturu, N.S. (2010) Use of Landsat images to assess the ground water development potential in southeast Kenya. Ground Water, 48(2): 295-305.

Warner, N.R., Levy, J., Harpp, K., Farruggia, F.T. (2008) Drinking water quality in Nepal's Kathmandu Valley: a survey and assessment of selected controlling site characteristics. Hydrogeology Journal, 16: 321-334.

Levy, J., Sun, K., Findlay, R.H., Farruggia, F.T., Porter, J., Mumy, K.L., Tomaras, J., and Tomaras, A. (2007) Transport of Escherichia coli bacteria through laboratory columns of glacial outwash sediments: estimating model parameter values based on sediment characteristics: J. Contam. Hydrol., 89:71-106..

Levy, J. and Ludy, E.E. (2000) Uncertainty quantification for wellhead protection areas: the Gauss-Hermite quadrature approach: Ground Water, 38:63-75.

Levy, J., Chesters, G., Gustafson, D.P. and Read, H.W. (1998) Assessing aquifer susceptibility to and severity of atrazine contamination at a field site in south-central Wisconsin: Hydrogeology Journal 6:483-499.

Selected grants:

  • Miami Conservancy District, Dayton, OH, 2010
    Riverbed Scour and Deposition and Its Influence on Riverbed Hydraulic.
  • City of Oxford, OH, 2008
    Re-Delineation of Four Mile Creek Basin Source Water Protection Zones for the City of Oxford, Ohio.
  • Source Water Protection Grant Program, 2007 (Miami Conservancy District, Dayton, OH through the Village of Gratis, Ohio)
    Twin Creek Watershed Nitrate and Soruce-Water Protection.
  • City of Hamilton, OH, 2006
    Investigating Riverbed Hydraulic Conductivity at Several Wellfields along the Great Miami River, Southwest Ohio.

Teaching Interests:

GLG 307 - Water and Society
GLG 408/508 - Introduction to Hydrogeology
GLG 428/528 - Groundwater Flow Modeling
GLG 482/582 - Contaminant Hydrogeology

For complete descriptions of courses please click here.

Please click here to see Dr. Levy's curriculum vita.

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