Date of Graduation

Summer 2019


Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences


Geography, Geology, and Planning

Committee Chair

Melida Gutierrez


Joplin, Missouri, part of the Tri-State Mining District (TSMD), has a long history of mining that resulted in mine waste piles proximal to the mines throughout the area. A local lead smelter also resulted in smelter fallout in Joplin. Mine waste pile runoff and local smelter fallout resulted in contamination of sediments, soils, and waterways. In the 1990s, remediation of residential soils and play areas began after blood lead levels in children were much higher than the national average. Soon afterwards, the chat piles were removed and used for beneficial reuse purposes. In May of 2011, an EF5 tornado devastated the town of Joplin, and spread contaminated soils across the area yet again. This study investigates relationships between total metal concentration; it’s bioavailable fraction (exchangeable and carbonate-bound phases), potentially bioavailable fractions (reducible phases or metal stored in iron and manganese oxides) and their association to organic matter content, and magnetic susceptibility in sediments from Turkey Creek. Thirty-five samples from Turkey Creek were analyzed for total metal concentrations and bioavailability by assessing the percent of total metal released in the first two extractions according to the BCR sequential extraction scheme. Loss on ignition and magnetic susceptibility were determined to find any relation to either fraction. Fractionation trends were highly variable between sediment samples. 1-45% of Zn, 0-46% of Cd, and 0-11% of Pb occupied exchangeable and carbonate bound fractions, 3-97% of Zn, 2-91% of Cd, and 3-99% of Pb occupied iron and manganese oxide fractions and 2-97% of Zn, 8-94% of Cd, and 0-99% of Pb occupied organic and residual fractions of sediment. A risk assessment code (RAC) (%) was performed for Zn, Pb, and Cd where 17% of samples for Zn were considered very high risk and 23% were considered high risk, and 9% of samples for Cd were considered very high risk and 14% were considered high risk, whereas no Pb samples were considered high risk or very high risk. Total metal concentrations were high for Zn, Cd, and Pb in several samples, exceeding TSMD-specific Probable Effect Concentrations (PECs) in 57% of samples for Zn, 51% of samples for Cd, and 57% of samples for Pb. Further, 57% of samples exceeded the Sum Probable Effect Quotient which evaluates risk to aquatic fauna.


Tri-State Mining District, sequential extraction, mine contamination, heavy metal fractionation, Turkey Creek, Joplin, Missouri

Subject Categories

Geochemistry | Geology


© Zachary Joseph Collette

Open Access