Paper No. 29-18
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM
ANALYSIS OF THE KANKAKEE WATERSHED BY ATOMIC ABSORPTION SPECTROSCOPY
Our research group is looking to monitor the changes in Na+ concentrations in the Kankakee River basin (IL) over seasonal changes. Five tributary creeks (Soldier, Bourbonnais, Rock, Horse, and Forked creek) are sampled on a regular basis. These creeks were selected based on differences in land use in their respective drainage areas. Soldier Creek and Bourbonnais Creek pass through Kankakee and Bourbonnais, respectively, the largest urban area in the county. Rock Creek and Forked Creek both begin further north in Will County (Chicago suburban areas) but primarily drain agricultural areas. Horse Creek flows up from the south, draining agricultural land almost entirely. No major interstates and few significant county roads pass through the drainage area of this creek. We predict that the loading of winter salts across the county will be seen most prominently in Soldier Creek and Bourbonnais Creek, will have lesser impacts on Rock Creek and Forked Creek, and only a very minor effect on Horse Creek. Temperature, pH, conductivity, and hardness are measured for each sample. The outcome of the study is to determine the extent of human impact over the basin through salting of the road systems in the winter during a strong El Niño year. Concentrations of all four major cations (Na+, Ca+2, Mg+2, and K+) will be determined through Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS).