A geospatial information science analysis of soil lead levels at West Point, New York
Soil Science Society of America International Soils Meeting
Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)
Center for Environmental and Geographical Science, Geography and Environmental Engineering
West Point is the oldest continuously operated military post in the United States with fortifications designed as early as 1778. Along with fortification designed as early as 1778, various residential areas emerged during six distinct periods of growth ranging from 1819 to 2010. The composition of construction materials and consumer products has changed over this time period with respect to lead based paint and leaded gasoline. In the United States, it is common for urban soils to have lead levels greater than the general background level of 50 mg kg-1. The objective of this study was to correlate the lead concentration in soil with the six distinct periods of residential development. A total of 80 samples were collected and analyzed using inductively coupled plasma arc emissions spectroscopy to determine lead concentration in the soil. Initial results indicated statistically significant results related to age of construction of residences and the concentration of lead in the soil. Integration of geo-referenced lead concentrations into ArcGIS enabled visual representation of a heat map correlating age of construction and lead concentration. The predictive ability to determine soil lead levels based upon age of construction over a 240 year period has application for identification of potential areas exceeding lead concentrations in neighborhoods across the country where historic residences remain.
soil lead levels
Bier, P.V., McPheters, M.S., Wallen, B.M., and W.C. Wright. (2019). A geospatial information science analysis of soil lead levels at West Point, New York. Soils Across Latitudes. SSSA, CSSA, and MSSA International Soils Meeting, #14-3. San Diego, CA, 6-9 JAN 2019.
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