UW Extension

Photo of David J. HartFaculty

Affiliated Faculty

David J. Hart

Program Leader, Hydrogeologist

Contact: Phone (608) 262-2307 | Email dave.hart@uwex.edu

Research Interests

At the WGNHS we strive to conduct science that is useful to the citizens of Wisconsin. We communicate the results of that science to local and state government, private citizens, and other interested parties, such as planning commissions and environmental consultants. My interests include hydrogeology, near-surface geophysics, and physical properties of geologic materials. My areas of research include wellhead protection, water use, the application of near-surface geophysics to geologic and hydrogeologic problems, development of techniques to understand the role of aquitards in flow systems, measuring flows in boreholes, and incorporating geology into the design of geothermal heat pump systems.

My interest in groundwater education has taken me into the classroom. I am an instructor for workshops for teachers who want to learn to use an interactive groundwater model to demonstrate concepts such as flow through various types of materials.

Current Projects

Canoe set up to measure location and elevation, water chemistry, and record video

Canoe set up to measure location and elevation, water chemistry, and record video

  • Hydrogeology of the Cedarburg Bog (Wisconsin Wetlands Association presentation)
  • Geophysical techniques to map the extent and thickness of the Rountree Formation in southwestern Wisconsin
  • Groundwater model to determine source water areas for fens in the Mukwonago River basin.
  • Geothermal gradients in Wisconsin and the thermal properties of Wisconsin’s rocks
  • Using distributed temperature sensing (DTS) to measure flows in wells and thermal properties of rock.
  • Using the New Rome clay as a ground weighing lysimeter to estimate recharge and evapotranspiration in central Wisconsin (2016 AWRA Wisconsin Section presentation)


  • I collaborate with faculty and students in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Geology and Geophysics and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
  • I work with colleagues in the U.S. Geological Survey Wisconsin Water Science Center, Middleton, Wisconsin.
  • I work with colleagues throughout UW–Extension and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, including faculty and staff at the Center for Watershed Science and Education.

Selected Publications

Survey publications available for print or download


  • Luczaj, J.A.; Maas, J.; Hart, D.J.; Odekirk, J., 2017, Aquifer Drawdown and Recovery in the Northeast Groundwater Management Area, Wisconsin, USA: A Century of Groundwater Use. Geosciences 7, doi: 10.3390/geosciences7010011
  • Sellwood, S.M., Bahr, J.M., and Hart, D.J., 2016, Evaluation of discrete-depth heat dissipation test for thermal characterization of the subsurface, in Dowling, C.B., Neumann, K., and Florea, L.J., eds., Geothermal Energy: An Important Resource: Geological Society of Americal Special Paper 519, doi: 10.1130/2016.2519(05).
  • Sellwood, S.M., Hart, D.J., and Bahr, J.M., 2015, Evaluating the use of in-well heat tracer tests to measure borehole flow rates: Groundwater Monitoring and Remediation, v. 35, no. 4, pp. 85–94, doi: 10.1111/gwmr.12134.
  • Sellwood, S.M., Hart, D.J., and Bahr, J.M., 2015, An in-well heat-tracer-test method for evaluating borehole flow conditions: Hydrogeology Journal, 23: 1817, doi: 10.1007/s10040-015-1304-8.
  • Dunked, K.M., Anderson, M.P., Hart, D.J., 2015, New ways of using well construction reports for hydrostratigraphic analyses: Groundwater, v. 54, no. 1, doi: 10.1111/gwat.12326.
  • Hart, D.J., 2015, A comparison of fracture transmissivities in granite water wells before and after hydrofracturing. Hydrogeology Journal, 23: 21 doi: 10.1007/s10040-015-1315-5.
  • Leaf, A.T., Hart, D.J., and Bahr, J.M., 2012, Active thermal tracer tests for improved hydrostratigraphic characterization: Groundwater, v. 50, no. 5, p. 726–735.
  • Hart, D.J., Schoephoester, P.R., and Bradbury, K.R., 2012, Groundwater recharge in Dane County, Wisconsin: Estimating recharge using a GIS-based water-balance model: Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey Bulletin 107, 11 p.
  • Hart, D.J., Bradbury, K.R., and Gotkowitz, M.B., 2008, Is one an upper limit for natural hydraulic gradients?: Groundwater, v. 46, no 4, p. 518-520.
  • Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission/Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, 2008, Groundwater recharge in southeastern Wisconsin estimated by a GIS-based water-balance model: Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission Technical Report No. 47, 23 p.
  • Bradbury, K.R., Gotkowitz, M.B., Hart, D.J., Eaton, T.T., Cherry, J.A., Parker, B.L., and Borchardt, M.A., 2007, – Part B: Technical guidance for assessing contaminant transport through aquitards: Denver, Colo., AWWA Research Foundation, 143 p.
  • Hart, D.J., Bradbury, K.R., and Feinstein, D.T., 2006, The vertical hydraulic conductivity of an aquitard at two spatial scales: Ground Water, v. 44, no 2, p. 201-211.
  • Cherry, J.A., Parker, B.L., Bradbury, K.R., Eaton, T.T., Gotkowitz, M.B., Hart, D.J., and Borchardt, M.A., 2007, Assessment of contaminant transport through aquitards – Part A: A “State of the Science” Report, 146 p.
  • Feinstein, D.T., Eaton, T.T., Hart, D.J., Krohelski, J.T., and Bradbury, K.R., 2005, A regional simulation model for southeastern Wisconsin. Report 1: Data collection, conceptual model development, numerical model construction, and model calibration, Report 2: Model results and interpretation: Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, Technical Report 41.
  • Feinstein, D.T., Hart, D.J., Krohelski, J.T., 2004, The value of long-term monitoring in the development of ground-water-flow models: U.S. Geological Survey, Fact Sheet 116-03, 4 p.

Near-Surface Geophysics

  • Summitt, A., Schuettpelz, C., Hart, D. J., and Fratta, D., 2010, Monitoring septic effluent transport using borehole ground penetrating radar, electrical resistivity, and self-potential geophysical techniques: Journal of Environmental and Engineering Geophysics.
  • Schuettpelz, C. C., Hart, D. J., and Fratta, D., 2007, The use of multiple geophysical techniques for the evaluation of location and formation of sinkholes in a retention pond: Denver, Colo., SAGEEP Conference.
  • Hart, D.J., and Thomas, C.T., 2004, Using time-domain electromagnetics to map the transition of an aquifer to an aquitard, in Timms, W., and others, eds., 18th annual SAGEEP Proceedings: Geophysical solutions for today’s challenges: Atlanta, Ga., X-CD Technologies, p. 780-789.
  • Hart, D.J., Anderson, M.L., and Alumbaugh, D.A., 2003, Determination of aquitard and crystalline bedrock depth using time domain electromagnetics: Madison, Wis., Groundwater Research Report WRI GRR 03-06, 15 p.

Physical Properties

  • Walker, M.D., Meyer, L.L., Tinjum, J.M, and Hart, D.J., 2015, Thermal property measurements of stratigraphic units with modeled implications for expected performance of vertical ground source heat pumps: Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, v. 33, no. 2, p. 223–238, doi: 10.1007/s10706-015-9847-y.
  • Hart, D.J., and Wang, H.F., 2010, Variation of unjacketed pore compressibility using Gassmann’s equation and an overdetermined set of volumetric poroelastic measurements: Geophysics, v. 75, no 1, p. N9–N18.
  • Courtier, A.M., Hart, D.J., and Christensen, N.I., 2004, Seismic properties of Leg 195 serpentinites and their geophysical implications, in Shinohara, M., Salisbury, M.H., and Richter, C., eds., Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, v. 195.
  • Hart, D.J., and Hammond, W.S., 2002, Measurement of hydraulic conductivity and specific storage using the shipboard Manheim squeezer, in Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program: Initial reports, seafloor observatories and the Kuroshio Current, covering Leg 195 of the cruises of the drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution; Apra Harbor, Guam, to Keelung, Taiwan; sites 1200-1202, 2 March-2 May 2001.
  • Hart, D.J., and Wang, H.F., 2001, A single test method for determination of poroelastic constants and flow parameters in rocks with low hydraulic conductivities: International Journal of Rock Mechanics & Mining Sciences, v. 38, p. 577–583.
  • Hart, D.J., and Wang, H.F., 1995, Laboratory measurements of a complete set of poroelastic moduli for Berea Sandstone and Indiana Limestone: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 100, p. 17,741-17,744.
  • Wang, H.F., and Hart, D.J., 1993, Experimental error for permeability and specific storage from pulse decay measurements: International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences & Geomechanics Abstracts, v. 30, no. 7, p. 1173–1176.

Educational Outreach

  • Building Wisconsin’s Aquifers 2010: In this guided activity with lesson plan, students sculpt Wisconsin’s aquifers using playdough. This activity has been done at the Teacher Sandtank groundwater model workshops and the Grandparents University at UW-Madison.
  • Rock properties: Introduction to the physical properties of Wisconsin’s bedrock aquifers and aquitards. 2009 This is a web-served database for use by consultants and educators in Wisconsin.

Selected Professional Activities


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