Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Chemistry

First Advisor's Name

Yong Cai

First Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Yuan Liu

Third Advisor's Name

John Berry

Keywords

Everglades, metal pollution

Date of Defense

7-2-2012

Abstract

Concentrations of 18 metals, including toxic metals (As, Cd, Cr, Ni and Pb) and essential metals (Al, Ba, Be, Co, Cu, Fe, Li, Mg, Mn, K, Sr, V and Zn) in various compartments (sediment, floc, and periphyton) were measured in the Florida Everglades to (i) establish the spatial distribution pattern of the metals in the Everglades and (ii) quantify the major sources of the 18 metals present in the Everglades. The highest mean concentrations of all metals analyzed in the Everglades were detected in soil, followed by floc and periphyton. Most metals exhibited random spatial distribution patterns. Risk assessment using Sediment Quality Guidelines (SQGs) concluded that all toxic metals (Cd, Cr, Pb, Ni, Cu, Zn and As) exhibited average concentrations that were well below FL guidelines as well as other domestic and international guidelines. On the basis of the current study, the Everglades can be considered a pristine environment.

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