Date of Graduation

Summer 2017


Master of Science in Chemistry


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Committee Chair

Richard Biagioni


Stream sediments from Chat Creek in Aurora, MO, part of the former Tristate Mining District, were digested via a sequential extraction procedure modeled after the Tessier method. Prior sampling had shown elevated levels of zinc, lead, and cadmium in sediments located near former chat piles. Metals in sediments were divided into four geochemical fractions: 1) easily exchangeable, 2) carbonate-bound, 3) iron-manganese oxides-bound, and 4) organic matter-bound. The distribution of the metals within these fractions can help predict the bioavailability and speciation of said metals. The majority of metals were contained in the third and to a lesser extent the fourth fraction. In these four fractions, 73.5 percent of zinc, 54.0 percent of lead, and 73.4 percent of cadmium was recovered from total metals present in sediment samples relative to preliminary total metal analysis. Metals in plant samples also showed significant contamination and suggested bioavailability of metals. Water samples were also analyzed, but showed no significant metal contamination.


bioavailability, speciation, fractionation, Tri-State Mining District, TSMD, zinc, lead, cadmium, contamination, heavy metals, Aurora, chat, sediment

Subject Categories

Analytical Chemistry | Environmental Chemistry


© Miles Pearson

Open Access