Heavy Metal Content in Stream Sediments Adjacent to the Warren County, Missouri Landfill Complex

Date of Graduation

Fall 1996


Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences


Geography, Geology, and Planning

Committee Chair

Erwin Mantei


Indian Camp Creek receives leachate from a landfill complex consisting of three separate landfills adjacent to the creek. The purpose of this research is to determine if leachate from the landfill complex affects the sediments of the stream. Seventy four samples were collected along a 1.5 mile length of stream, the 0.030 mm to 0.090 mm size fraction sediments were retained for analysis. Atomic absorption techniques were used to determine the concentrations of Cu, Cd, Pb, Zn, Ni, Co, Mn, Ag, Fe, and Cr in sediments of Indian Camp Creek. Results indicated mean metal concentrations increased near the landfill complex. A t-test indicated Cu, Cd, Pb, Zn, Ni, Co, Mn, Ag, and Fe exceeded the critical values at a 99.9% confidence level. Trend charts were utilized to analyze the variations of metal concentrations along the study stream. The aforementioned metals were determined to have been emitted from the landfill complex. Chromium concentrations in the sediments were not enriched and represent background values. Metal concentrations in the sediments are compared to metal concentrations in water samples taken from the same area. Results indicated that no detectable metal concentrations were present in the water suggesting the use of sediments to determine metal concentrations emitted by the landfill complex is a more dependable method of assessing heavy metal content in the stream environment.

Subject Categories

Earth Sciences


© Mark Thomas Seastead