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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Distribution of sulphur, iron, copper and zinc in modern marine sediments of Mud Bay, Crescent Beach, B.C. Northcote, Kenneth Eugene

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis was to investigate the pattern of distribution of some elements in the tidal flat environment at Mud Bay near Crescent Beach, B.C. Samples of sediment were collected in a regular pattern over the bay. Quantitative chemical analyses of the samples were made for acid-soluble copper, zinc, lead, and molybdenum. The same samples were analysed spectrochemically for iron and sulphur. The results of the analyses were plotted on base maps and contoured. It was found that there was a definite pattern of sedimentation. Because of the shallow depth of water at high tide and the bay's sheltered aspect, deposition of finer-grained material occurred near shore. In slightly deeper and more exposed parts of the bay fine-grained material was winnowed leaving coarse-grained sediment. Most of the elements showed a definite pattern of distribution. Sulphur, copper, and zinc showed a tendency to concentrate in finer-grained materials. Iron, in the form of magnetite, was deposited with coarser-grained materials near river mouths and exposed parts of the bay. Lead values were too low to permit conclusions regarding its distribution. Molybdenum concentrations were below the detection level of the method of chemical analysis. No attempt was made to determine the form in which the elements were present nor to determine the reason for their concentration other than to suggest the most obvious possibilities.

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