Defense Date

10-31-2022

Graduation Date

Fall 12-16-2022

Availability

Immediate Access

Submission Type

thesis

Degree Name

MS

Department

Environmental Science and Management (ESM)

School

Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Committee Chair

Brady Porter

Committee Member

John Stolz

Committee Member

Beth Dakin

Keywords

Ion Chromatography, ICP-MS, Abandoned Mine Drainage, Native Freshwater Fishes, Mass Ratio Analysis, Oil and Gas, Pollutant Detection, State Regulation, ArcGIS, Metals

Abstract

The Buffalo Creek watershed has experienced water quality impairments for various reasons, including but not limited to, agricultural influence, abandoned mine drainage (AMD), on-site wastewater malfunction, and stormwater. The source and cause of the most prevalent impaired areas remains unknown. The goal of this study was to analyze water chemistry using state water quality standards and mass ratio analysis, then to conduct fish community analysis. We found toxic metal pollution across the watershed, with iron, cadmium, copper, and selenium frequently exceeding criteria. We determined which streams are polluted by resource extraction activities by conducting mass ratio analysis. We found conventional oil and gas, and mine drainage to be contributing to the previously unknown sources of pollution in the watershed. The fish community and composition appeared healthy according to the Ohio Index of Biotic Integrity, but the thermal fish index indicated stressed temperature transitions, likely due to development and habitat loss.

Language

English

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