Date of Award

Fall 1980

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean & Earth Sciences



Committee Director

George F. T. Wong

Committee Member

George F. Oertel

Committee Member

Terry L. Wade

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.O35M79


Ten grab samples and eight cores were obtained within a short stretch of the James River estuary. The distribution of CU, Pb, Zn, Cs-137, organic carbon (TOC) and fine-grained sediments in various depositional environments were examined. Within the past quarter of a century, these measured parameters have been accumulating preferentially in the low energy environment (Burwell Bay). The inventory of Cs-137 in the cores was linearly related to the inventory of heavy metals and TOC. The concentrations of Cs-137 in the surface sediments vary linearly to those of the other parameters suggesting that Cs-137 may be used as a tracer for heavy metals. Sedimentation rates, as determined by Cs-137 dating, were 1.3-2.2 cm/yr in the Burwell Bay region and 0.4-0.7 cm/yr in the high energy environments (Point of Shoals and Rocklanding Shoal Channel).


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