Masters Theses

Keywords and Phrases

Barium; Lead; Mineral Fork; Mining; Washington County; Zinc


“The Old Lead Belt in Missouri has been mined extensively over the past two hundred years, and with historical mining practices often not meeting modern environmental protection standards many areas have significant soil and water contamination as a result. This study focuses on the Mineral Fork River’s watershed in Washington County, Missouri, which includes portions of four separate Superfund sites. In this study, we exam the impact of historical mining on the health of alluvial systems, as evaluated by lead, zinc, and barium (barite) concentrations in the suspended and sediments within tributaries of the Mineral Fork River system. To relate this to historic mining, the concentrations of lead, zinc, and barium (barite) will be compared to the density of recorded mining operations in the sub-watershed of each sampled tributary. Six pre-established sub-watersheds were evaluated using ten sampling locations within the Mineral Fork River’s watershed. This study builds on similar previous work performed within this watershed, with an objective to expand upon it by increasing the sample resolution, extending the study for a longer time period, and using more advanced methods of soil analysis to determine the extent of contamination within the Mineral Fork River watershed. Within this study, a positive correlation was found between the density of mining activity and the elevated concentrations of lead and zinc on suspended sediments, while no correlation was found between barium (barite) and the density of mining activity. These correlations were attributed to the contaminant properties. It is suggested that further research be conducted in the area to further refine and verify the results”--Abstract, page iii.


Grote, Katherine R.

Committee Member(s)

Rogers, J. David
Cawlfield, Jeffrey D.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Geological Engineering


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Spring 2022


xi, 82 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographic references (pages 78-81).

Geographic Coverage

Washington County, Missouri


© 2022 Tessa Nicole Mortensen, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 12124