Thesis Title

The Dispersions of Copper, Lead and Zinc in the Soils and Juniper Trees Associated With a Shallow Lead-Zinc Ore Deposit: a Potential Environmental Problem

Date of Graduation

Spring 1992


Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences


Geography, Geology, and Planning

Committee Chair

Erwin Mantei

Subject Categories

Earth Sciences


Geophysical and geochemical procedures were used to study dispersions of Cu, Pb, and Zn in surficial materials near a shallow lead-zinc ore deposit. Geophysical procedures were used to determine the extent of the ore deposit while geochemical procedures were used to study the metal dispersion in the soils and portions of juniper trees. A rectangular grid was established adjacent to the deposit to determine sampling sites. Additional soil samples were collected outside the grid area and represented the control for the soil study. The content of Cu, Pb, and Zn in each samples was determined by atomic absorption analysis. The data from each geophysical procedure and chemical analysis were plotted on appropriate grid and offgrid locations. A three-dimensional skewed view of each data set was generated to aid in effective interpretation of the data. Result from the magnetic survey indicated the ore was limited in extent and restricted along a narrow lineament or fracture. Comparison between the mean content of metals in the control and study area samples indicated the soil in the study area was affected by the ore deposit. A statistical t-test showed the same result. There appears to be a decreasing trend for quantities of Cu, Pb, and Zn in the soil away from the ore deposit. Dispersions of Pb and Zn in the soil showed strong correlation between metals. High quantities of Cu in the soils, Pb in juniper needles, and Cu, Pb, and Zn in juniper stems corresponded with high values obtained from the magnetic survey, thus indicating a possible extension of the buried ore deposit. This kind of study can be applied to other areas in Southwest Missouri which contain shallow Pb-Zn deposits. Data generated from such studies may contribute to resources planning when developing land use plans.


© Joel C Keller