Title

Controls on the Distribution of ASARCO Heavy Metals in Tacoma-Area Lakes

Faculty Advisor

Tepper, Jeffrey

Area of Study

Science and Mathematics

Publication Date

Summer 2016

Abstract

Lake sediments and soils within the South Puget Sound region contain elevated levels of Pb, As, Cu, Zn, and other metals as a result of ASARCO smelting operations. While significant work has been done on determining the extent of heavy metal pollution, little research has been directed toward the distribution of heavy metals in local lake sediments. Field work, including lake coring, deploying of sediment traps, and collecting soils coupled with geochemical analysis will provide the tools to better understand the local lake chemistry. Previous work by Puget Sound students and faculty has established that sediment profiles do not correspond to smelter production history. This project will collect and analyze sediments from within and around five local lakes in order to investigate three main questions: (1) To what extent are heavy metals currently being delivered to local lakes? (2) After deposition, do heavy metals continue moving through the sediment column? (3) What effect does the rate of sedimentation rate have on the distribution of heavy metals?

Publisher

University of Puget Sound

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