Senior Honors Projects, 2010-2019

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Department of Geology and Environmental Science


L. Scott Eaton


Presence of high concentrations of Lead within the soil and water could lead to various health related impacts on humans and wildlife. Exposure to Lead short termly or long termly could lead to many detrimental impacts due to Lead poisoning. The overall concentration of Lead in a soil can be measured using an Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICPMS) under laboratory conditions. The present study investigates the Lead concentration of contaminated abandoned riffle range located in Augusta County, Virginia. Soil samples were obtained using soil augurs from three locations randomly based on the severity of contamination. Location three, which was located 50 ft away from the contaminated site, was considered as the control. Soil samples were analyzed for soil texture, color, wet sieve, dry sieve, pH, acidity and Lead concentrations. Initially samples were grinded and sieved through # 20 sieve. Standard methods were followed to analyze the samples. Soil texture was determined using wet sieve analysis while the particle sizes were determined based on the USCIS classification. Soil pH was determined using pH meter and the acidity was determined using a titration. The lead concentrations were determined using an ICPMS. The pH, wet sieve and dry sieve classification was used to correlate the Lead concentration of the site. Results indicated that the study site has been contaminated with soil mobile Lead. The mean concentrations of Lead for location one were 1327.1 ppm, which has exceeded the EPA standard limit. The Lead concentration of the location two was close to exceed the EPA standard limit. The texture of the soil in the study site was clay, which could potentially decrease the mobility of Lead and could lead in increase in the Lead concentrations in the soil due to existence of poor drainage conditions. Further investigations with more number of sampling locations and more replicates should be necessary to confirm the findings of the present study. In the mean time it is necessary to adopt techniques to decrease the Lead concentrations below the EPA standard limit.



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