Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Geological and Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Daniel P. Cassidy, Ph.D.,

Second Advisor

Donald M. Reeves, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Michael Jury


Forest, Michigan, PFAS, soil

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This research discusses the results of a state-wide study conducted by The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy to assess the presence of PFAS in shallow soils of state-owned forested areas in Michigan utilizing a composite sampling method. One sample collected from each of Michigan’s 83 counties reveals the presence of PFAS in all but one sample, with total PFAS concentrations ranging from non-detect to 2.016 μg/kg (dry weight). PFOS is generally detected at the highest concentrations, ranging from non-detect to 0.88 μg/kg, followed by PFBA, with concentrations ranging from non-detect to 0.69 μg/kg, and PFOA, with concentrations ranging from non-detect to 0.36 μg/kg. The sum of perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs) is higher than the sum of perfluoroalkane sulfonic acids (PFSAs) in most samples, while there are no detections of fluorotelomer sulfonic acids, fluoroalkylether compounds, or perfluoroalkane sulfonamides in any of the samples.

The statistical analysis indicates no correlations between PFAS and metals, total organic carbon (TOC), moisture, or percent clay. Samples located in the northern lower peninsula and upper peninsula are similar in composition and concentration, while samples from the southern lower peninsula vary significantly in composition and concentration. Results from this project are consistent with or are considerably lower than other soil studies from forested areas around the world.