Communications Project

Document Type:Master's Thesis
Name:Kathryn Alyce Klawiter
Title:Copper Concentrations in Tidal Creeks and Estuaries of the Eastern Shore and the Relationship to Plasticulture and Copper-based Crop Protectants
Degree:Master of Science
Department:Civil Engineering
Committee Chair: Andrea M. Dietrich
Committee Members:Daniel L. Gallagher, Co-Chair
George M. Simmons
Keywords:aquaculture, copper, Eastern Shore, pesticides, plasticulture
Date of defense:February 9, 1998
Availability:Release the entire work for Virginia Tech access only.
After one year release worldwide only with written permission of the student and the advisory committee chair.


This project investigates the effect of plasticulture and copper-based crop protectants on water quality on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Water and sediment copper concentrations in both plasticulture and non-plasticulture containing watersheds were measured to determine the scope of copper in Eastern Shore tidal creeks. Runoff from a variety of land-uses including agricultural, plasticultural, residential and natural areas were collected and measured for copper to determine where copper-containing runoff originates. Copper concentrations in plasticulture impacted tidal creeks were higher than background (0 - 3 ug/L) only in spikes, during or immediately after runoff-producing rainfall events. These spikes registered as high as 263 ug/L total copper, or 127 ug/L dissolved copper. Plasticulture and copper-based crop protectants were affirmed as the cause of these spikes because control watersheds indicated no high copper spikes. Runoff from different land-uses verify that copper is present in high concentrations only in runoff from fields engaged in plasticulture and using copper-based crop protectants. Sediment copper concentrations were found to be within the natural range, but exhibited some variability based on proximity to agricultural copper inputs.

List of Attached Files

append.pdf intro.pdf litrev.pdf
results1.pdf results2.pdf results3.pdf

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