Paper No. 8-8
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM
BULK METAL POLLUTION INVESTIGATIONS OF A RESTORED PRAIRIE FROM THE MIAMI UNIVERSITY HAMILTON CAMPUS, HAMILTON, OHIO
The city of Hamilton, Butler County Ohio is the site of several ongoing investigations of urban pollution, largely focused on metal and coal components. The Miami University Hamilton (MUH) campus (located in Hamilton, Ohio) serves as an excellent test site for evaluating urban pollution because it has numerous environmental settings including parking lots, forest, mowed lawn and a restored prairie. The restored prairie area serves as an excellent opportunity to evaluate inexpensive remediation strategies for urban environments. Previous scanning electron microscopy investigations of the prairie soils have shown traces of lead-tin particulate and asbestos. Inductively coupled plasma – optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) and inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) analyses on bulk prairie soils were conducted in an effort to learn more about the extent of metal pollution and to provide insight as to how the prairie soils became contaminated. Elements of environmental concern include Pb, Cr, Zn, Ni, and Cu. Some elements show modest to strong positive correlations and these include Pb-Cr, Mn-Cu, Mn-Zn, Zn-Cu, and Pb-Ni. These trends are interpreted to be a signature of atmospheric input, debris from a nearby major road and landfill sources. Variation in strength of the correlations is interpreted to be a function of mixing. This investigation indicates that there is metal pollution in the prairie but concentrations and ratios of elements differ compared to urban street sediment in the city of Hamilton and parking lot sediment on campus. This work serves as a basis for future phytoremediation studies examining uptake of metals and provides constraints on ongoing ecological and land management studies. This study also substantiates the current interpretation that urban pollution is spatially complex in Hamilton and does not seem to follow simple gradients.