Preliminary assessment of time trends in bioavailable metals in the Tri-State lead/zinc mining district through analysis of tree cores

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Abstract

The Tri-State mining district in the central U.S. was a major source of zinc and lead from the early 1800s to 1970, producing 11.7 million tons of zinc, and 2.8 million tons of lead. Soils and streams in more than 70 square miles of the mining district and downstream areas are contaminated by metals. Little environmental monitoring was conducted in the district until the late 1970s, when metals-laden water started to flow from the abandoned mines. To retrospectively determine trends in metals bioavailability during unmonitored decades and recent trends in metals, cores extracted from 36 trees distributed throughout the district were analyzed by laser-ablation-inductively-coupled plasma/mass spectroscopy (LA-ICP/MS). Preliminary analyses indicate that most metals concentrations decreased after cessation of mining. Recent reclamation activities appear to have increased the amount of bioavailable metals in the environment, probably through mobilization in air during disturbance and transport of tailings for use as aggregate, or through runoff of newly-available metals-contaminated fine sediments.

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Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Preliminary assessment of time trends in bioavailable metals in the Tri-State lead/zinc mining district through analysis of tree cores
DOI 10.21000/JASMR07010016
Year Published 2007
Language English
Publisher American Society of Mining and Reclamation
Contributing office(s) Oklahoma Water Science Center
Description 13 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title 24th National meetings of the American society of mining and reclamation 2007 : "Thirty years of SMCRA and beyond", June 2-6, 2007, Gillette, Wyoming, USA.
First page 16
Last page 28
Conference Title 24th Annual Meeting of the ASMR, June 2-7, 2007, Gillette, Wyoming
Conference Location Gillette, WY
Conference Date Jun 2-7, 2007
Country United States
State Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma
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