Date of Award

Spring 4-30-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Daniel Deocampo

Second Advisor

Dr. Elliott Crawford

Third Advisor

Dr. Dajun Dai


Previous research from urban cities around the world have found elevated soil lead concentrations in many of the cities because of anthropogenic deposition of lead from industrial, transportation, and residential applications. Children, impoverished populations, and pregnant women all experience increased adverse health risks when exposed to land with elevated soil lead concentration. The project tested the following hypotheses concerning soil lead within the Atlanta urban environment; soil is enriched from transportation sources and deteriorating lead paint, soil lead is not sourced from the weathering of the bedrock or soil, and enrichment is heterogeneous. The hypotheses were tested through the geochemical and spatial analysis of 750 soil samples collected within the Atlanta urban environment, utilizing Xray fluorescence, inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy analysis, and statistical interpretation. Soil lead concentrations in the 100µm fraction ranged from 10ppm to 3029ppm, with a median value of 75ppm. Soil lead concentrations in the bulk samples were less enriched and ranged from below detection limit to 2599ppm, with a median value of 59ppm. Semivariograms of the data, illustrates poor spatial autocorrelation between samples at this sampling distance.