Northeastern (46th Annual) and North-Central (45th Annual) Joint Meeting (20–22 March 2011)

Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


JOVANOVIC, Vladimir, Masters Program in Environmental Science, College of Staten Island/CUNY, 2800 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10314, SHAW, Richard K., USDA, NRCS, NYC Soil Survey, 1000 South Ave, Suite LL4, Staten Island, NY 10314 and BENIMOFF, Alan I., Department of Engineering Science and Physics and the Masters Program in Environmental Science, The College of Staten Island/CUNY, 2800 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10314,

Soils are a tremendously heterogeneous environmental matrix with varying spatial and temporal gradients of organic carbon, pH, and particle size and distribution. Soils in urban areas can serve as a sink for airborne contaminants. They are a crucial component of rural and urban environments, and in both places land management is the key to soil quality. The Arthur Kill complex includes the northwestern corner of Staten Island in New York City, adjacent portions of the Arthur Kill and Kill van Kull in both New York and New Jersey, and tributaries and wetlands feeding into the Arthur Kill. Soils from six sites were sampled by generic horizon and concentrations of 9 elements (Pb, Cu, Hg, Zn, Ni, Cr, Cd, Co and As) were determined by Innov-X Delta Standard Environmental Analyzer. The textures of analyzed soils were mostly sandy loam or loamy sand. Obtained results are compared with NYS DEC Cleanup Standards for unrestricted use. Most of the soils are characterized by high amounts of Pb and Zn in the surface horizons, especially in the organic materials near the surface. Cu has less predictable results through the soil profile, which may suggest possible groundwater input.

This research area is within one of the most intensively industrialized and urbanized corridors in the northeastern United States, and is subject to both physical and qualitative losses of habitat due to chemical (including heavy metals, DDT, and petrochemicals) and nutrient pollution, storm water discharges, sewage discharges, nonpoint source runoff, illegal filling and dumping activities, poorly planned land and waterfront development, and other anthropogenic activities. This area was also the site of several recent oil spills and discharges. At high concentrations these heavy metals are hazardous and may cause damage to the ecosystem.