Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Delineating Heavy Metal Sources with Environmental Magnetism, X-Ray Fluorescence, and Geospatial Analysis: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
by Taylor, Delmetria, M.S., University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2016, 92; 10244985
Abstract (Summary)

The objective of this study is to detect the presence of anthropogenic magnetic particles by measuring the magnetic signature of soil samples in Baton Rouge, LA. Baton Rouge is currently ranked third among the Unites States’ most polluted cities, so it is necessary to locate the sources of the problem and find solutions (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], 2014). Magnetic susceptibility is a property that is easily, quickly, and inexpensively determined. It provides a highly-sensitive measurement of the compositional changes of minerals in soil. Magnetic susceptibility is influenced both anthropogenically and naturally by lithological and pedological heavy metal content. In this study, roughly 260 km2 (110 mi2) were sampled within the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area, and multiple environmental settings were covered. Geospatial and x-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF) were used to correlate magnetic susceptibility measurements and indicate increased anthropogenic activity near major industrial areas and interstates. Soil samples were analyzed, and isothermal remanent magnetization (IRM) acquisition curves indicate the presence of high- and low coercivity minerals, presumably magnetite and hematite. Enhanced susceptibility measurements do not appear to be dominated by lithology or soil in this particular area.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Richter, Carl
Commitee: Borrok, David, Duex, Timothy
School: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department: Geology
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: MAI 56/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Geology, Geophysics, Environmental science
Publication Number: 10244985
ISBN: 978-0-355-11304-4
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