Thesis Title

Heavy Metal Concentrations in Springs and Sinkholes in and Around Springfield, Greene County, Missouri


Richard Black

Date of Graduation

Summer 2002


Master of Science in Chemistry


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Committee Chair

Mark Richter


The purpose of this study is to determine if heavy metals are present in springs and sinkholes located in and around Springfield, Greene County, Missouri. Water suspended solid samples were collected from eight springs including Ritter East (RE), Ritter West (RW), Jones (J), Sequiota (SQ), Silver (SV), Ward (WA), Sander (SA), and Grant Beach (GB). Samples were analyzed for copper (CU), barium (Ba), and lead (Pb) using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-AES) and a single nitric acid extraction. A t-test was used to compare each of the statistical mean metal concentrations with controls (deionized water passed through a Barnsted/Thermolyne filtration apparatus), and with samples from each of the sites. A significant difference was indicated for barium at 95% confidence between filtered and unfiltered (samples filtered prior to an after treatment with nitric acid, respectively) samples. Differences were also observed at 95% confidence for barium concentrations between different springs. However, the concentrations of barium are below the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) set by the United States Environmental Protection agency for drinking water. Concentrations of lead and copper in all springs were below instrumentally determined detection limits.

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