Masters Theses


Behzad Afzali


"Some 71 active stream sediment, bank sediment, biota, and stream water samples were collected at selected sites along the Big River and Aux Vases rivers and tributaries. The pH, alkalinity, specific conductance, temperature were determined and samples analyzed for Cu, Pb, Zn, Co, Ni, and Cd content.

Stream waters carry heavy metals in low parts per billion. Greatest heavy metal content is in the stream waters of Flat River and lower Big River.

Acid leachable heavy metal content of -80 mesh fractions of stream sediments for Cu, Pb, Zn, Co, Ni, and Cd are orders of magnitude greater than that of the water samples. Water samples, generally in tens of ppm.

Heavy metal concentration was also determined for biota samples. In these samples the contents are in the same range as active stream sediments and bank sediments. Elevated levels of Cu, Pb, Zn, Co, Ni, and Cd contents in active stream, bank, and biota samples occur in the same general area as the anomalous stream water samples.

Greater heavy metal values are related to known base metal mineralization in the Old Lead Belt of Southeast Missouri, and areas of mining and milling. Dispersion by erosion and stream transport is a major transportation mode as suspended particles. Temporary fixation may be by particulate deposition and by biota entrapment in the stream waters. The low content of heavy metals in the water indicates this mode of transportation is very small as compared to particle transport.

Heavy metal patterns show significantly higher metal content in the Old Lead Belt of lower Big River and the Barite District drainage areas than the non-mineralized Establishment drainage area to the east. Comparison of metals in the latter area and the Current River-Jack's Fork drainage to the southwest of the area, and the mineralized areas above, demonstrates amounts of metals added to the environment by nature through the ore-forming and erosion processes, plus that of man by mining and milling activities. Current River, Establishment River, and Saline Creek background values suggest that minor or little copper, cobalt, and nickel were added in the Barite District. Up to three times the background level of copper was added and about 1.5X background Co and Ni in the Old Lead Belt. Cadmium increases 2X and 5X, respectively in the Barite and Old Lead Belt Districts. Cadmium may be a pathfinder element for point source of heavy metals. Possible leakage metal content from depth may occur in the Saline and Whitewater drainage areas"--Abstract, pages ii-iii.


Proctor, Paul Dean, 1918-1999

Committee Member(s)

Hagni, Richard D.
Clifford, Roger K.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Geology


Geological Survey (U.S.)


Funded by the U.S. Geological Survey grant, U.S.G.S. 14-08-001-G-439

Electronic access to the full-text of this document is restricted to Missouri S&T users. Print thesis not available at Missouri S&T Library.

Print thesis lost & withdrawn; scan made from microfilm is best quality available.


University of Missouri--Rolla

Publication Date



x, 152 pages, maps

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 120-126).

Geographic Coverage

Aux Vases Formation
Big River (Mo.)


© 1979 Behzad Afzali, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Heavy metals -- Environmental aspects
Streamflow -- Missouri -- Big River
Sediment transport -- Missouri

Thesis Number

T 4536

Print OCLC #


Electronic OCLC #


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