Date of Graduation

Spring 2014


Master of Natural and Applied Science in Geography, Geology, and Planning


Geography, Geology, and Planning

Committee Chair

Melida Gutierrez


contamination, Tri-State Mining District, geochemistry, soil, Joplin Missouri

Subject Categories

Geochemistry | Hydrology | Mining Engineering


Heavy metals cadmium, lead, and zinc present in soil and sediment in high concentration may pose a threat to human (and wildlife) health. Several soil surveys have focused in the area encompassing Turkey Creek and Joplin, Missouri, due to its proximity to the historic Tri-State Lead and Zinc Mining District. The Tri-State Mining District is an area of extensive mining for over a century (1850-1960s) that resulted in soil contamination. Contaminant levels were considered toxic enough to declare part of this area an EPA Superfund site. Mixed media samples (soil, sediment, and chat) were collected throughout the summer of 2013 and were analyzed using aqua regia-Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-AES). Significant positive and negative correlations were found between metals, as well as metal content and distance from mine waste piles and the smelter zone. Enrichment Factor (EF) and Geoaccumulation Index (IG) were both calculated and identified sites of highest contamination/enrichment. Inverse Distance Weighted (IDW) interpolation was used to generate metal concentrations around Turkey Creek Watershed and visualize the potential regions of highest concern. This study has identified areas of the watershed where metal contents are high and should be examined more closely to further remediation efforts.


© Jessica Lynn Peebles

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