Gwynn R. Johnson
Date of Award
Master of Science (M.S.) in Civil & Environmental Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Soils -- Copper content, Copper -- Transport properties, Trace metals in the environment, Soil amendments -- Environmental aspects
Biosolids are used as amendments to agricultural soils and can be a source of trace metals. It is unknown if these land-applied trace metals travel through the soil column to the water table. This study aims to determine the transport behavior of copper in natural soils, including ‘aged’ soils, commercial agricultural soils that have had multiple years of biosolids applications. Using acid digests and Darcy column apparatus it was determined that factors such as pH, soil composition, especially organic matter content, and the presence of other trace metals influence copper’s complex transport behavior in these soils. Natural soil appears to filter the metal precipitates that form at environmental pH. Under certain conditions, these trace metal precipitates can become mobile. There is also evidence of competition for soil binding sites between iron and copper.
Luisi, Julie, "Mechanisms Controlling Copper Transport in Natural Soils" (2018). Civil and Environmental Engineering Master's Project Reports. 40.