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Faculty Profile - Gilles Tagne

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Gilles Tagne, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Science

On Faculty since 2018
630.752.7556



Dr. Gilles Tagne teaches GIS, energy and climate, introductory geology and environmental science courses. He completed his dissertation at Ball State University on the hydrology of the karst bedrock of Western Kentucky. Dr. Tagne is also involved in water quality and public health research in West Africa, working on understanding the origins of contamination and trace metals in alternative drinking water sources and the implications for policy implementation and community development.

Ball State University
Ph.D., Environmental Science, 2019

Université de Rennes I
M.A., Hydrology-Hydrogeology-Geochemistry Grade With Honors, 2013

  • Fertilizers
  • Enviromental Monitoring
  • Hydrology
  • Hydrological Modeling

Inferring groundwater flow and recharge from time series analysis of storm responses in a karst aquifer of southeastern Kentucky (USA), Hydrogeology Journal
G. V. Tagne, C. Dowling, 2018
Epigenic karst systems exhibit strong connectivity to surface recharge. In land use dominated by extensive agriculture and farming, epigenic karst aquifers are highly vulnerable to surface contaminants from point and nonpoint sources. Currently, the karstic landscapes of the southeastern Kentucky platform (USA) are impacted by agriculture and the rapid proliferation of concentrated-animal-feeding operations. Analysis of karst aquifer responses to storm events provides qualitative information regarding aquifer–recharge flow paths and groundwater residence time, and knowledge of spatial and temporal variations in recharge and flow is crucial to the understanding of the fate of surface contaminants. Time-series correlation analyses on long-term physicochemical data recorded at the outlet of Grayson Gunnar Cave, an epigenic karst system located along the Cumberland escarpment in southeastern Kentucky, revealed the existence of two separate conduit branches responding 4–8 h apart from each other. Recorded storm response times range from 4 h for flushing and dilution to 7 h for recovery. An estimated 6 million L of stored groundwater is discharged from both branches during major storms, and the fastest responding branch accounts for the majority (80%) of the groundwater reserve being discharged through the spring. As evidenced by groundwater residence time (7 days), recharge is likely characterized by localized infiltration of rain water from subsurface sinkholes to the conduit branches with no contribution of regional or lateral groundwater flow.
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Using Nutrient Data and Dye Tracing to Infer Groundwater Flow Paths and Contaminant Transfer Time in Grayson-Gunnar Cave, Monticello, KY, Karst Groundwater Contamination and Public Health
G. V. Tagne, L. J. Florea, 2017
The proliferation of Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) among karst terrains has been a highly controversial issue for past years. Although some studies have assessed the risk of contamination which may derive from the exposure of karst aquifers to animal wastes (Brahana et al. in Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2014–5035:97–102, 2014), little study has been conducted on the impact of these operations on the quality of water in karst aquifers. We will be specifically looking at the potential loading of nutrients, including nitrogen species and reactive phosphate, during specific storm events at the Grayson-Gunnar Cave outlet in Southeastern Kentucky.
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