Zinc is emerging as one of the next biggest heavy metal pollutants to the environment. Local urban materials such as building roofing and siding, tire wear, and long distance zinc deposited via precipitation and dry deposition all contribute to zinc pollution within a given watershed. In order to gain a better understanding of regional and local zinc pollution, two lake beds in the Williamsburg area, Lake Matoaka and Jones Mill Pond, were cored and sampled for zinc. We extracted zinc from sediments using hot nitric acid digestion and tested samples via inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy. Both Lake Matoaka and Jones Mill Pond appeared to have pre-industrial zinc concentrations below 40 ug/g with values increasing around 1900 and peaking around the year 2000: Jones Mill Pond peaking at about 100 ug/g and Lake Matoaka at about 200 ug/g. Pre-industrial zinc flux in Jones Mill Pond was under 2 ug/cm2/year and peaked at about 4 ug/cm2/year in the 1990s; Lake Matoaka pre industrial values were about 4 ug/cm2/year and peaked at about 16 ug/cm2/year in 1990. Given the large variations in zinc fluxes and concentrations post 1940s between both lake records, the urban zinc signal in the urban Lake Matoaka watershed is likely responsible for elevated zinc contamination.
Pardo, Chris, "Urban Runoff and Atmospheric Deposition as Zinc Sources in Two Distinct Watersheds" (2021). Geology Senior Theses. Paper 17.