Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dale Russell


Gold mining in Idaho and other western states has left a legacy of heavy metal contamination. These metals enter the food chain via plants and water, and are toxic to living organisms. There is a need to identify and map the heavy metal contamination, and to track the fate and transport of heavy metals from one mine site to another via surface waters. Our hypothesis is that the severe contamination in the area of the Missouri Mine is not all from that site, but includes heavy metals transported in surface water from another mine to the northeast, in the Summit Flat area. To test this hypothesis, samples of soil, water, sediment and vegetation are taken throughout the affected area. They are analyzed via Atomic Absorption spectroscopy for the target metals, using standard USEPA methods. Then a map of the contamination is prepared. If amounts of EPA criterion pollutants exceed acceptable levels, the results will be reported to appropriate government agencies.