Spatial distribution of heavy metals in Center Township, Delaware County surface soils

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Liberti, Michael F.
Pichtel, John, 1957-
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Thesis (M.S.)
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management
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Numerous urban soils surrounding industrial and metallurgical facilities in the U.S. are contaminated with metals including lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn), chromium (Cr), and nickel (Ni). Simplified geochemical mapping requires soil sampling and analysis for the presence of heavy metals from a grid pattern within a geographic area. In this study, a contour map of metal concentrations at two depths was subsequently superimposed over a standard political map to indicate areas of elevated metal concentrations in the soil. Natural levels of Pb, Cd, Cu, Zn, Cr, and Ni in Delaware County soils were determined to be 114.2 mg/kg, 0.14 mg/kg, 29.3 mg/kg, 88.4 mg/kg, 9.0 mg/kg, and 39.8 mg/kg, respectively. The average concentrations of metals found throughout Muncie, 203.9 mg/kg Pb, 39.2 mg/kg Cu, 275.4 mg/kg Zn, 9.7 mg/kg Cr, and 25.0 mg/kg Ni, were compared with natural levels to determine the extent of heavy metal pollution from atmospheric deposition. From the geographic mapping of metal concentrations, the effect of past industrial processes on possible contamination of soils by metals in Muncie, Indiana, was determined. Metals were also be fractionated in order to assess the percentage which is potentially bioavailable.