Paper No. 38-17
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM
ASSESSING SEDIMENT MAGNETISM AS A PROXY FOR HEAVY METAL POLLUTION IN A NORTHERN OHIO FLUVIAL SYSTEM
Human activity, such as road travel and manufacturing, produce heavy metal contamination that may be harmful to biologic components in the fluvial environment. Combustion processes often result in heavy metal pollution that can also be highly magnetic. Geochemical methods quantify trace metal concentration, but are destructive to the sediment sample, relatively expensive, and time consuming to perform. However, magnetic methods are non-destructive to sediment samples, relatively inexpensive, and rapid to measure. The objective of this study is to determine if sediment magnetic properties can be used as a screening tool for estimating heavy metal concentration in river sediment and identifying potential pollution hotspots. Prior work has shown that rivers in Ohio which flow from rural to urban landscapes have an increase in ferrimagnetic content of the channel sediment upon entering the urban setting. Ongoing work will measure the concentration of lead, chromium, zinc, and copper in river sediments using the total digestion method to determine if sediment magnetic properties can be used as a heavy metal proxy.