Coupling Hydrodynamic Forces With Geomorphic Change Along the Illinois Lake Michigan Coast

E. J. Theuerkauf, D.M. Nelson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The presence of fragments from clay pigeons (skeet) in the soils of Navy target-practice fields presents a potential health hazard due to the polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) that may still be present in the soil. The source of the PAH is the tar pitch and other aromatics used to bind the minerals together in the original manufacture of the skeet targets. A great need exists to determine the actual risk posed by these materials by estimating the residual amount of skeet and PAH in the soil and its potential for entering the human food chain. The purpose of this study was to measure the level of skeet contamination in soils, using one Naval installation in Florida as a case study. Five soil samples were collected from or near the target field and dry sieved into three particle-size frac-tions (>2000 μm esd (equivalent spherical diameter), < 2000 to >500 μm esd, and < 500 μm esd). Each fraction was then analyzed for mineralogy, total inorganic carbon, and organic carbon using powder X-ray diffrac-tion (XRD), thermal analysis, carbon analysis, Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR). A nearby uncontaminated soil was used as the background for baseline informa-tion. Each of the methods was calibrated for skeet content using the pure phases of three commonly used skeet materials, then the skeet content in each of the different particle-size fractions of each soil was estimated. Results indicated that some samples had no skeet, whereas others had a modest level. Interestingly, only the >2000 μm esd size fraction contained any skeet, and the two lesser size fractions were devoid of skeet regard-less of the sample. This indicates that, over the years, the skeet fragments have not weathered into the smallest or colloidal size fractions, suggesting that colloidal transport of the residual skeet and its accompanying PAH would be highly unlikely. Likewise, airborne transport would also be unlikely because of the resistance of large particles to being swept up by wind. This result further suggests that water transport would also be slow because the larger particles would not readily suspend in water and thus would settle rapidly even if caught up in flowing water.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFrom Cities to Farms: Shaping Great Lakes Ecosystems
StatePublished - 2017


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