Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Geological and Environmental Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Mark Grammer

Second Advisor

Dr. Johnson Haas

Third Advisor

Dr. Carla Koretsky

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Bioirrigation is the increase of solute transport resulting from introduction of oxygenated water from the surface into the more reduced environment deep within the burrow. Fe and Mn hydr-(oxides) accumulate on burrow margins in response to the oxygen flux into suboxic porewaters. This has been shown to trap trace metals (Harding and Risk, 1986; Tessier and Campbell, 1988; Tessier et al., 1979, 1982). The diagenesis, mobility, and transport of metals contribute to the bioavailability of metals in the environment possibly to the extent of harming ecosystems; especially in coastal areas with buried waste. This study assesses Fe and trace metal speciation due to bioirrigation in and near burrows collected off the coast of Georgia and Washington. Pleistocene shrimp burrows from Sapelo Island, GA, are compared to modern burrows of the shrimp Upogebia from Washington to assess the difference between climates during diagenesis. Metal speciation from crab burrows collected from a saltmarsh in Georgia is compared to the modern shrimp species to assess differences in burrowing organisms.

Included in

Geology Commons