Department of Earth Sciences
Newton Horace Winchell School of Earth Sciences


Calvin Alexander

Office: 

107A Pillsbury Hall

Phone: 
612-624-3517
Email: 
alexa001


Professor
PhD, 1970, University of Missouri-Rolla


Research Interests

  • Focus on the rate of movement of fluids in hydrogeology and include the use of isotopic techniques (tritium, carbon-14, and stable oxygen and hydrogen isotopes) and inadvertent tracers (pollutants, pesticides, and nutrients) to measure fluid flow or residence times on time scales ranging from months to tens of thousands of years and the use of artificial tracers such as fluorescent dyes and anions to measure fluid flows on time scales of minutes to years. An initial interest in karst hydrology has expanded into the whole range of non-Darcian phenomena such as preferential flow in soils, and flow in fractured and granular media. Recent karst projects include work on the distribution and prediction of new sinkholes in southeastern Minnesota, on spring-shed tracing and mapping, on the design of monitoring systems in karst terrains, development of karst features on sandstone, and on the management of animal agricultural facilities in Minnesota.
  • Click here for map of Minnesota Karst Lands by E. Calvin Alexander, Yongli Gao and Jeff Green*, 2006
    Click here for map of Minnesota and Iowa Sinkholes

Professional Society Memberships

  • American Geophysical Union
  • Geochemical Society
  • ASTM
  • American Society for the Advancement of Science
  • Sigma XI
  • Meteoritical Society
  • National Speleological Society
  • Geological Society of America
  • National Ground Water Association


Courses Taught

  • Planets of the Solar System
  • Our Changing Planet
  • Earth Resources
  • Geochemical Principles
  • General Hydrogeology
  • Hydrogeology Field Camp
  • Tracers and Karst Hydrogeology
  • Regional Aquifer Systems of North America
  • Geofluids Seminar
  • Geochronology and Earth History
  • Seminar: Brines


Selected Publications

  •  Alexander, E. Calvin Jr., Anthony C. Runkel, Robert G. Tipping and Jeffrey A. Green (2013) Deep time origins of sinkhole collapse failures in sewage lagoons in SE Minnesota. In: (Lewis Land, Daniel H. Doctor and J. Brad Stephenson editors) NCKRI Symposium 2 Proceedings of the 13th Multidisciplinary Conference on Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst, Carlsbad, New Mexico, published on-line by NCKRI, Carlsbad, NM, p. 285-292. ISBN 978-0-9795422-7-5
  • Rahimi, Mina* and E. Calvin Alexander Jr. (2013) Locating sinkholes in LiDAR coverage of a glacio-fluval karst, Winona County, MN. In: (Lewis Land, Daniel H. Doctor and J. Brad Stephenson editors) NCKRI Symposium 2 Proceedings of the 13th Multidisciplinary Conference on Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst, Carlsbad, New Mexico, published on-line by NCKRI, Carlsbad, NM, p. 469-480. ISBN 978-0-9795422-7-5
  • Alexander, Scott C., Mina Rahimi*, Erik Larson*, Cody Bomberger*, Brittany Greenwaldt* and E. Calvin Alexander, Jr. (2013) Combining LiDAR, aerial photography and pictometric tools for karst features database management. In: (Lewis Land, Daniel H. Doctor and J. Brad Stephenson editors) NCKRI Symposium 2 Proceedings of the 13th Multidisciplinary Conference on Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst, Carlsbad, New Mexico, published on-line by NCKRI, Carlsbad, NM, p. 441-448. ISBN 978-0-9795422-7-5
  • Luhmann, Andrew J.*, Matthew D. Covington, Scott C. Alexander, Su Yi Chai*, Benjamin F. Schwartz, Joel T. Groten* and E. Calvin Alexander, Jr. (2013) Comparison of discharge, chloride, temperature, uranine, δD, and suspended sediment responses from a multiple tracer test in karst. Carbonates and Evaporites, v. 28, p. 191-199. Published online 13 Feb 2013, DOI 10.1007/s13146-013-0127-8.
  • Anger, Cale T.* and E. Calvin Alexander, Jr., (2013) Bench-scale models of dye breakthrough curves. Carbonates and Evaporates, v. 28 p. 221-227. Published online 10 Oct 2012, DOI 10.1007/s13146-012-0092-7.
  • Luhmann, Andrew J.*, Matthew D. Covington, Scott C. Alexander, Su Yi Chai*, Benjamin F. Schwartz, Joel T. Groten* and E. Calvin Alexander, Jr. (2012) Comparing Conservative and Nonconservative Tracers in Karst and Using Them to Estimate Flow Path Geometry. Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 448-449, p. 201-211.
  • Green, Jeffrey A., Anthony C. Runkel and E. Calvin Alexander, Jr. (2012) Karst conduit flow in the Cambrian St. Lawrence Confining Unit, southeast Minnesota. Carbonates and Evaporites, v. 27, p. 167-172. Published online 28 Jun 2012, DOI 10.1007/s13146-012-0102-9.
  • Brick, Greg* and E. Calvin Alexander, Jr. (2011) Early Graphic Representations of Groundwater Nitrate Concentrations, Ground Water, first published online Dec., 2011 at: DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-6584.2011.00896.x; then in Ground Water, v. 50, no 2, Mar-Apr. 2012, p 319-322.
  • Luhmann, Andrew J.*, Matthew D. Covington, Andrew J. Peters, Scott C. Alexander, Cale T. Anger*, Jeffrey A. Green, Anthony C. Runkel and E. Calvin Alexander, Jr.  (2011) Classification of Thermal Patterns at Karst Springs and Cave Streams,  Ground Water, Vol 49, no. 3, p 324-334. (Published on line: 16 Jul 2010, DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-6584.2010.00737.x)
  • Mark A. Borchardt, Kenneth R. Bradbury, E. Calvin Alexander, Jr., Rhonda J. Kolberg,  Scott C. Alexander, John R. Archer, Laurel A. Braatz, Brian M. Forest, Jeffrey A. Green,  and Susan K. Spencer (2011) Case Study of Norovirus Outbreak Caused by Septic System in a Dolomite Aquifer, Ground Water, Vol. 49, No. 1, January/February 2011, p. 85–97.  (Published on line 22 Feb 2010, DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-6584.2010.00686.x)
  • Sushmita Dasgupta*, Martin O. Saar, R. L. Edwards, Chuan-Chou Shen, Hai Cheng, E. Calvin Alexander, Jr. (2010) Three thousand years of extreme rainfall events recorded in stalagmites from Spring Valley Caverns, Minnesota.  Earth & Planetary Science Letters, v. 300, p. 46-54.
  • Kelton D. L. Barr and E. Calvin Alexander, Jr. (2009) Examples of Hypogenic Karst Collapse Structures Twin Cities Metropolitan Area, Minnesota.  (K.W. Stafford, L. Land, and  G. Veni eds.) Advances in Hypogene Karst Studies: NCKRI Symposium 1. National Cave and Karst Research Institute, Carlsbad, NM, p. 51-59.
  • Greg Brick*, E. Calvin Alexander, Jr. Daniel H. Doctor (2009) Isotopic Study of Nitrates from Upper Mississippi Valley Saltpeter Caves. In (William B. White, ed.) Proceedings 15th International Congress of Speleology, Kerrville, TX, 19-26 July 2009, Vol 1, p. 289-293.  ISBN 978-1-879961-33-3.

*designates a student author

Recent Research Support

  • Minnesota DNR Chemistry and Isotopes
  • LCCMR Trout Springsheds Study

Recent Consulting Work 

  • Allens/ExonMobile, (Karst Hydrogeology)
  • MPCA, MDNR, various Counties (Hydrology, Karst Hydrogeology)
  • HDR Engineering, Inc., (Hydrogeology)
  • Versar/USEPA, (Karst Hydrogeology)
  • Delta/Amoco, (Karst Hydrogeology)
  • RMT, (Karst Hydrogeology)