UW Extension



Affiliated Faculty

Madeline Gotkowitz

Hydrogeologist, Professor

Contact: Tel 608/262.1580 | Email madeline.gotkowitz@uwex.edu

  • At the WGNHS, we carry out applied projects with specific and very practical goals, but most projects also contain a research component. Topics of general interest to me include groundwater quality in urban areas, water quality at municipal water systems, geologic and geochemical factors affecting trace metals in Wisconsin’s groundwater, and flow and contaminant transport across aquitards. Another area of interest is water table response to climate extremes. The WGNHS maintains, along with the USGS, a state-wide groundwater level monitoring network. You can explore these data here: http://wi.water.usgs.gov/data/groundwater.html

    Part of the mission of the WGNHS is to collect, interpret, disseminate, and archive natural resource information. To help fulfill this part of our mission, I’ve worked to improve the ways in which we provide information to the public. Our GIS staff recently developed a web-based mapping application, the Hydro Data Viewer, to provide geologic and hydrogeologic data sets in an easy-to-use and broadly available format. The Viewer is currently used by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and we hope to have it on our web site soon.

    My current projects include the fate and transport of artificial sweeteners and other novel wastewater tracers in groundwater, geologic sources of radium to public water supply wells, and redox conditions in heavily pumped groundwater systems. I participate in a project examining the hydrologic impacts of industrial sand mining in Wisconsin.

    • Geologic sources of radium to Wisconsin’s Cambrian-Ordovician aquifer
    • Occurance of hexavalent chromium in groundwater
    • Fate and transport of human enteric viruses and artificial sweeteners in the subsurface
    • Hydro Data Viewer: A map-based application to access state-wide hydrogeologic data and related information, with links to digital datasets and models
    • Impacts of non-metallic mining and irrigated agriculture on groundwater resources in Western Chippewa County, Wisconsin
    • Transport of nitrate in agricultural watersheds
    • A hydrogeologic atlas for Bayfield County
  • Publications available for print or download

    Arsenic and other trace metals in groundwater

    • McGinley, P.M.; Masarik, K.C.; Gotkowitz, M.B.; Mechenich, D.J., 2016,Impact of anthropogenic geochemical change and aquifer geology on groundwater phosphorus concentrations: Applied Geochemistry, v. 72, p. 1–9.
    • Gotkowitz, M.B., McLaughlin, P.I., and Grande, J.D., 2012, Sources of naturally occurring chromium in bedrock aquifers underlying Madison, Wisconsin: Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey Open-File Report 2012-08, 16 p.
    • Root, T.L., Gotkowitz, M.B., Bahr, J.M., Attig, J.W., 2010, Hydrostratigraphic influences on arsenic in glacial aquifers: Ground Water, v. 48, no. 6, p. 903–912.
    • Gotkowitz, M.B., Ellickson, K., Clary, A., Bowman, G., Standridge, J., and Sonzogni, W., 2008, Effect of well disinfection on arsenic in groundwater: Ground Water Monitoring & Remediation, v. 28, no. 2.
    • Root, T.L., Bahr, J.M., and Gotkowitz, M.B., 2005, Controls on arsenic concentrations in groundwater near Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, in O’Day, P.D. and others, eds., Advances in Arsenic Research: Integration of Experimental and Observational Studies and Implications for mitigation: ACS Symposium Series 915, p. 161–174.
    • Gotkowitz, M.B., Schreiber, M.S., Simo, J.A., 2004, Effects of water use on arsenic release to well water in a confined aquifer: Ground Water, v. 42, no. 4, p. 568–575.
    • Schreiber, M.E., Gotkowitz, M.B., Simo, J.A., and Freiberg, P.G., 2003, Mechanisms of arsenic release to groundwater from naturally occurring sources, eastern Wisconsin, in Welch, A.H., and Stollenwerk, K.G., eds., Arsenic in groundwater: Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, p. 259–280.


    • Carter, J.T., Gotkowitz, M.B., Anderson, M.A., 2011, Field verification of a perched bedrock aquifer in a temperate climate: Ground Water, v. 49, no. 3, p. 383–392.
    • Hart, D.J., Bradbury, K.R., and Gotkowitz, M.B., 2008, Is one an upper limit for natural hydraulic gradients?: Ground Water, v. 46, no. 4, p. 518–520.
    • Bradbury, K.R., Gotkowitz, M.B., Hart, D.J., Eaton, T.T., Cherry, J.A., Parker, B.L., and Borchardt, M.A., 2006, Contaminant transport through aquitards: Technical guidance for aquitard assessment: Denver, American Water Works Association Research Foundation.

    Wisconsin hydrogeology

    Well construction and water quality

    • Gotkowitz, M.B., Bradbury, K.R., Borchardt, M.A., Zhu, J., Spencer, S.K., 2016, Effects of climate and sewer condition on virus transport to groundwater: Environmental Science & Technology, v. 50, no. 16, p. 8497–8504.
    • Bradbury, K.R., Borchardt, M.A., Gotkowitz, M.B., Spencer, S.K., Zhu, J., and Hunt, R.J., 2013, Source and transport of human enteric viruses in deep municipal water supply wells: Environmental Science & Technology.
    • Gotkowitz, M.B., and Liebl, D.S., 2013, Municipal drinking water safety: The link between groundwater, pathogens, and public health: Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey Educational Series 53, 4 p.
    • Borchardt, M.A., Bradbury, K.R., Gotkowitz, M.B., Cherry, J.A., and Parker, B.L., 2007, Human enteric viruses in groundwater from a confined bedrock aquifer: Environ. Sci. Technol., v. 41, no. 18, p. 6606–6612.
    • Wilcox , J.D., Gotkowitz, M.B., Bradbury, K.R., and Bahr, J.M., 2010, Using groundwater models to evaluate strategies for drinking-water protection in rural subdivisions: Journal of the American Planning Association, v. 76, no. 3, p. 295–304.
    • Gotkowitz, M.B., 2007, Well water for rural residential subdivisions: Using groundwater flow models to evaluate options for water supply: Central Wisconsin Groundwater Center, 8 p.