GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 261-3
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


JENSEN, Kelsey, KAISER, Jason F., WEAVER, Kim and PIERCE, Elizabeth, Department of Physical Science, Southern Utah University, 351 W University Blvd, Cedar City, UT 84720

Molybdenum (Mo) is a trace element essential to both plants and animals. Mo is used to carry out processes involving redox reactions to promote nitrogen use efficiency and nitrate reduction (Moncada et al., 2018). In western Utah, Mo distribution in soils may be attributed to the numerous igneous intrusions of the region (Bon and Gloyn, 2003). These intrusions have been exploited in multiple mining operations in Iron, Beaver, Juab, Tooele, and Salt Lake Counties. The goal of this project is to assess the role of geological features as fluid pathways creating potentially elevated Mo concentrations in nearby agricultural soils.

This project will test the hypothesis that geological features along the Milford Mineral Belt in Beaver Country have led to increased concentrations of Mo in nearby soils, and in isolated areas, are still influencing the concentrations of Mo through its redistribution. To test this hypothesis, soils from around intrusions and other geological features leading into the agricultural land will be tested for Mo. The goal of this study will be to create a Mo concentration map of the soils within this region. This map will provide the basis for understanding if Mo in the soils is sourced from the Mineral Belt.

To complete this project, sampling and analysis will be completed to supplement a preliminary Mo concentration map of the area. Ongoing sampling is targeting zones known to be rich in Mo, and those thought to provide geologic constraints on metal transport and accumulation. These soils will be digested in a series of acids and analyzed using the Agilent 7700 Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer at SUU. Initial analyses will include a wide range of trace metals in order to better understand the complete concentration of the soils. With this information, further analyses can be constrained to Mo alone with more precise preparation and analytical conditions. The Mo concentrations can then be compared to the samples sites to create a map of Mo in the soils.

Moncada, A., Miceli, A., Sabatino, L., Iapichino, G., D’Anna F., & Vetrano, F. (2018). Effects of molybdenum rate on yield and quality of lettuce, escarole, and curly endive grown in a floating system. 1(2).

Bon, R.L., Gloyn, R.W. (2003) 2003 Summary of Mineral Activity in Utah. Utah Geological Survey, pp. 19