Sedimentary properties can affect many aspects within the marine environment. It can affect everything from the way benthic organisms live to the pollutants causing changes to the environment. Some organisms prefer to live in more carbonate sediments while others prefer siliciclastic. The properties of sediments can be used to test the metal concentrations of the area. I have tested the sedimentary properties from seven localities around St. Croix and determined if these properties are causing certain metals to bind to the sediments. I have determined where there is a higher concentration of metal in the offshore sediments. This can be compared to the terrestrial elements to determine the sources of the metal in the offshore samples. This can help us in figuring out if the metals are anthropogenically derived or from another source. If the metals are from anthropogenic sources, steps can then be made to preserve and protect the offshore area and target the sources producing particularly harmful metals to stop pollutants. Grain sizes affect which metals may be binding to the sediments. Several sedimentary properties were identified from seven areas around the island of St. Croix. The sedimentary properties were determined by the following tests: a grain size analysis, a constituent analysis, a loss on ignition (LOI) test, quantification of the siliciclastic:carbonate percentages, and identification the siliciclastics in the sample. Using sedimentary properties, I have determined which of the seven areas are similar and which are different. Based on the results, the areas most affected by metals are locations with a lot of human contact. This leads to the conclusion that the offshore metals are likely a result of anthropogenic influences.
Jeannie Kort, ’17
Red Oak, IA