Paper No. 5
Presentation Time: 10:00 AM
SPATIAL ANALYSIS OF MINING RELATED SEDIMENT CONTAMINATION OF TURKEY CREEK WATERSHED IN THE TRI-STATE MINING DISTRICT, JOPLIN, MO
Heavy metals Pb, Zn, Cd and Fe present in soil and sediment in high concentration may pose a threat to human (and wildlife) health. Several soil surveys have focused in the area encompassing Turkey Creek and Joplin, Missouri, due to its proximity to the historic Tri-State Lead and Zinc Mining District. The Tri-State Mining District is an area of extensive mining for nearly a century (1850-1960s) that resulted in soil contamination. Contaminant levels were considered toxic enough to declare part of this area an EPA Superfund site. However, a precise map of contaminated areas has not been done. Until now, the metal content in soil has been described as “extremely irregular”. The relationship of soil and metals is complicated by the association of ore metals with particular size fractions of soil particles, which vary from site to site. The EF-5 tornado of May 2011, also led to greater irregularity due to the disturbance of soils. Chat piles were, and still are, a common occurrence in the area and may influence the distribution of contamination. This study plotted collected samples, showed where and what extent the soil contamination occurred, and lastly, compared the accuracy and precision of the two most commonly used methods to determine metal content of soils: X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) and aqua regia-ICP-AES (ICP). Statistical analyses have been applied to data analyzed by both of these methods to investigate the conditions by which, and if, these two methods can be integrated into one data set.