Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Geological and Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Richard N. Passero

Second Advisor

Dr. W. Thomas Straw

Third Advisor

Dr. John D. Grace

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


A discharge of chromium-arsenic-copper laden wastewater occurred periodically from 1970 to 1980 at a wood preserving company located in southwestern Kalamazoo County, Michigan. As a result of this discharge, soils at the company site became contaminated with chromium, arsenic, and copper, and a local glacial outwash aquifer became contaminated with hexavalent chromium.

Soil samples collected from the discharge site were analyzed for clay-silt-sand-gravel content, organic matter, pH, clay mineralogy, and chromium, arsenic, copper, iron, and manganese content. Background soil samples were analyzed for most of the above catagories. Pearson r coefficients of correlation were calculated to determine the correlation of chromium, arsenic, and copper to the various soil parameters and compared to results in the literature.

Results of this study indicate that the soil at the discharge site has retained significant amounts of chromium, arsenic, and copper. Due to the periodic addition of these ions to the soil at the discharge site over a ten year period however, the adsorbing capabilities of the soil were decreased. Thus, hexavalent chromium eventually reached the local glacial outwash aquifer and became mobile in the ground water.

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Geology Commons