2007 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (2831 October 2007)
Paper No. 118-14
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


CLARK, Lindsey Marie1, WHITEHOUSE, Erika2, and WEBB, Cathleen J.2, (1) Chemistry, Western Kentucky University, 2071 Clover Ct, Apt. C, Bowling Green, KY 42101, lindsey.clark@wku.edu, (2) Chemistry, Western Kentucky University, 1 Big Red Way, Bowling Green, KY 42101

Mercury (Hg) is a persistent neurotoxin that is readily transported through karst aquifer systems such as the South Central Kentucky Karst (SCKK) ecosystem, which includes Mammoth Cave National Park (MCNP). The largest source of mercury to MCNP is atmospheric deposition, largely produced by coal-fired power plants. Hg from the atmosphere deposits in rivers, sediments, and organisms through rain, wind, and bioaccumulation. Over 350 individual bat hair samples have been analyzed for Hg from MCNP with a wide variety of species diversity. Our project will expand throughout the year to three national parks in Kentucky and Tennessee including Abraham Lincoln, Cumberland Gap, and Big South Fork National Parks. Hg levels in hair of different bat species, including federally listed endangered species have been determined and found to range between 1-13 parts per million (ppm). In addition to bat hair, initial data from approximately 15 bat guano samples have been analyzed for Hg and found to range from 0.0030 ppm to 0.9470 ppm. Further analysis will be performed on insects to gain additional information regarding how bats bioaccumulate Hg through the food chain. Quality analysis and quality control tests were done using human hair reference standards. This multiyear project began in late summer 2002 and will continue through the end of 2008.

2007 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (2831 October 2007)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 118--Booth# 187
Involvement in Geological Research: Close Collaboration among the Faculty and Undergraduate and K12 Students (Posters)
Colorado Convention Center: Exhibit Hall E/F
1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Monday, 29 October 2007

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 39, No. 6, p. 328

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