Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Science Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Clarence J. Goodnight

Second Advisor

Dr. William B. Harrison III

Third Advisor

Dr. George G. Mallinson

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Richard D. Brewer


The purpose of this study was to measure the concentration of lead, cadmium, zinc and copper in runoff entering an urban lake ecosystem and to measure the distribution of these metals in selected tropic levels of the lake.

Fisk Lake was chosen as the study site and is located in East Grand Rapids, Michigan. Samples were collected of stormwater, rainwater and lakewater together with substrate, aquatic macrophytes Peltandra virginica, chironomid larvae, Chironomidae, snails Physa, and eight species of fish, Ictalurus nebulosus, Esox lucius, Lepomis gibbosus, L. macrochirus, Pomoxis nigromaculatus, Micropterus salmoides, Catostomus commersoni, and Perca flavescens. All samples were collected on the basis of being close to, or distant from, a storm sewer contaminated portion of the lake.

Samples were prepared and analyzed using atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AA) and particle induced X-ray analysis (PIXE).

The results of this study suggested that: (1)The metals did not show highest concentrations at highest tropic levels. (2)Lead, zinc and copper were detected in stormwater. (3)Although some substrate was highly contaminated, the other tropic levels need not show similar contamination. (4)The benthic organisms, although shown to contain elevated metal levels, do not seem to be passing these concentrations along the food chain. (5)The two processes of analysis, PIXE and AA, give similar values. (6)In terms of metal contamination, the fish of Fisk Lake appear to present little toxic danger.


Fifth Advisor: Dr. John D. Grace

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access