Advisor

Scott Burns

Date of Award

Winter 2-26-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Geology

Department

Geology

Physical Description

1 online resource (x, 161 pages)

Subjects

Soils -- Arsenic content -- Western Oregon, Arsenic -- Environmental aspects -- Western Oregon, Soil pollution -- Western Oregon

DOI

10.15760/etd.927

Abstract

One hundred and eighty-six soil samples from Northwest Oregon were tested for arsenic content. The highest values measured were 13.9 ppm in the A horizon (site C4) and 20.4 ppm in the B horizon (Site P4). Arsenic was not detected in 28 A horizon samples and 23 B horizon samples. Data are grouped based on the age and rock type of underlying bedrock. Lithologic groups with six or more data points were compared statistically to ascertain if groups are distinct. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) multiple comparison tests indicate that the arsenic content of the Marine Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks group samples is distinguishable from the Quaternary Basalts group in the A horizon and all other groups in the B horizon. Kruskal-Wallis multiple comparison tests indicate that the arsenic content of the Marine Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks group is distinguishable from the Quaternary Basalts, Quaternary/ Tertiary Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks and Volcanic Sediments groups in both the A and B soil horizons. The ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis tests compared A and B horizon data by lithologic group. The ANOVA shows the Marine Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks group in the A horizon is distinct from the Quaternary Basalts in the A and B horizon. The Kruskal-Wallis test yielded the same result. Per the ANOVA, the Marine Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks in the B horizon are distinct from all other tested groups. The Kruskal-Wallis test shows the Marine Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks group in the B horizon as distinct from the Quaternary Basalts, Quaternary/ Tertiary Sediments, and Volcanic Sediments groups in the A and B horizon. A K-means cluster analysis was used to group all available data independent of underlying bedrock. Three, four, and five group analyses were conducted, and the results of these tests were compared to the data grouped by underlying rock type. No correlation between the groups resulting from the K-means cluster analysis and groups based on underlying lithology was found. This analysis supports the creation of a map distinguishing arsenic content in the soils above Marine Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks group units from arsenic content in all other tested lithologic groups. The mean and standard deviations of these groups (in ppm) are: A horizon: Marine Sediments (6.09 ±2.66); other groups (3.10 ±3.19); B horizon: Marine Sediments (10.26 ±4.65); other groups (3.13, ±2.52). This analysis indicates that geologic context must be taken into account when determining background levels of naturally occurring arsenic in soils.

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/9382

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