Date of Graduation

Fall 2008


Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences


Geography, Geology, and Planning

Committee Chair

Robert Pavlowsky


stream sediment, geochemistry, phosphorus, metal pollution, coatings

Subject Categories

Hydrology | Sedimentology | Water Resource Management


Since urbanization has occurred on the Springfield plateau over the last century, there has been an increasing amount of pollutants available for stream transport and sediment storage. These pollutants have potentially impaired the quality of the streams that drain the city of Springfield. The Fassnight Creek watershed (15 km²) drains an east/west corridor of Springfield dissecting mostly residential neighborhoods and crossing major arterial streets. This study focuses on quantifying the concentrations and spatial distribution of trace metals and phosphorus in active bar and bed sediments along a 450 m reach of Fassnight Creek. One hundred and one sediment samples were gathered from 22 cross-sections. The influence of dilution, sediment composition, and channel energy on the spatial distribution of pollutants is evaluated. Average pollutant concentrations in Fassnight Creek are 27 ppm for Cu, 240 ppm for Pb, 328 ppm for Zn, and 544 ppm for P. Spatial distribution of trace elements here reveal that the highest concentrations of Cu, Pb, and Zn occurred in the low-energy and rich OM samples taken from depositional environments. However, phosphorus concentrations were highest in the thalweg, and are positively related with iron content suggesting the influence of iron oxide coatings as a geochemical substrate. The results from this study can be utilized to develop sedimentmonitoring techniques for similar streams in the Ozarks. Active sediment sampling that is stratified according to geomorphic setting or channel unit provided the best precision.


© John Frederick Kothenbeutel

Campus Only