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AN EXAMINATION OF METAL DEPOSITION DERIVED FROM AEROSPACE-RELATED ACTIVITY IN SEVERAL ENVIRONMENTAL MATRICES COLLECTED FROM WATERS SURROUNDING THE KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (KSC), FLORIDA

Published

Author(s)

John Bowden, Theresa M. Cantu, Douglas M. Scheidt, Russell H. Lowers, Brian A. Nocito, Vaneica Y. Young, Louis J. Guillette

Abstract

Metal deposition originating from anthropogenic activity was examined in a two-tier study using environmental samples collected from several locations at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and surrounding Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (MINWR) with inductively-coupled plasma - atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES). The primary study (part I) consisted of 1) an examination of temporal changes in baseline metal concentrations in surface water and sediment samples collected at specific long-term monitoring (LTM) sites (1996 to 2009) and 2) an examination of potential metal deposition as a direct result of space shuttle launch activity at both Launch Complexes LC39A and LC39B (1996 to 2009). While our examination places a heavy focus on those metals commonly associated with aerospace operations (e.g., Al, Fe, Mg and Zn), a brief discussion of the incidence of other metals (As, Cu, Mo, Ni, Pb) is also included. Despite the fact that no observable accumulation of metals occurred during the time period of the study, the data obtained post-launch demonstrated a dramatic increase for Al, Fe, Mn and Zn, at an overall average percent increase (over pre-launch concentrations) of 900 % and 3000 %, respectively, for LC39A and LC39B. A secondary analysis (part II) was comprised of a one-time measurement of metals in surface water from 14 baseline sites and a pre- and post-shuttle launch measurement of metals in surface water for one launch (STS-127). Comparing overall trends between the primary and secondary baseline surface water concentrations, elevated concentrations were generally observed at sampling stations located near the launch complexes and from sites isolated from major water systems. This study is the first published environmental examination of metal contributions of anthropogenic shuttle activities and describes the potential long- and short-term burden associated with potential deposition.
Citation
Environmental Science and Technology

Keywords

Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectroscopy, Metal Deposition, Space Shuttle Launch

Citation

Bowden, J. , Cantu, T. , Scheidt, D. , Lowers, R. , Nocito, B. , Young, V. and Guillette, L. (2014), AN EXAMINATION OF METAL DEPOSITION DERIVED FROM AEROSPACE-RELATED ACTIVITY IN SEVERAL ENVIRONMENTAL MATRICES COLLECTED FROM WATERS SURROUNDING THE KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (KSC), FLORIDA, Environmental Science and Technology, [online], https://doi.org/10.1021/es4047796 (Accessed May 21, 2024)

Issues

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Created April 8, 2014, Updated January 27, 2020