Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


W.M. Keck Science Department

Second Department


Reader 1

Donald McFarlane

Reader 2

Colin Robins

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© 2014 Moriah I. Lerner


Heavy metals can serve as a significant component of pollution in watersheds. In this study, ICP-MS analysis was used to determine the heavy metal content (Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Pb, and U) in water and sediment of three different Costa Rican watersheds: the Tarcoles River, the Terciopelo Creek, and the Cacao Creek. While the metal content of each the Terciopelo Creek and Cacao Creek was expected to be lower than that of the Tarcoles River, the results showed that this held true only for Cr and Pb. Elevated levels of the other four metals (Cd, Cu, Mn, and U) in the Terciopelo and Cacao Creeks are likely due to natural, lithogenic origin instead of anthropogenic input.

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