Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Jericho Johnson - Texas Southern University
The effect of land use and land cover changes on the extensive urbanization of Houston and surrounding areas has a significant effect on ecology, environment and human health in the Greens Bayou watershed. The increase in frequency and intensity of the urban flooding events along the Greens Bayou makes it important to monitor the nutrient and heavy metal concentrations along the Green Bayou. The objectives of this study are to 1) Monitor the historical water quality data of Greens Bayou, 2) Analyze the nutrient and heavy metal concentrations in the water and soil samples along the bayou, and 3) Develop GIS (Geographic Information System) maps to map the soil and water quality of the study area. Historical water quality data from the past three decades of Greens Bayou was downloaded from the USGS database, processed, and analyzed for time series analysis. A total of 15 water and 15 soil samples, from five different sampling locations along the Greens Bayou were collected and processed for chemical analysis. The samples were analyzed for nutrient and metal concentrations using ICP-MS (Inductive Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry) and TCN (Total Carbon Nitrogen) analyzer. In addition, soil samples were tested using the handheld XRF (X-ray Florescent) analyzer. Our results of the historical analysis indicated that there was a significant decrease in nutrient and metal concentrations in the Green Bayou during the last three decades. The water and soil concentrations of the total carbon, total nitrogen, total organic carbon, and inorganic carbon showed a general decline from upstream to downstream sampling locations along the bayou. The XRF analysis indicated an increase in metal contamination along the downstream of the bayou. In general, the heavy metal concentrations were found increasing from upstream to downstream with highest contamination at the farthest down the bayou. Studying the historical data and current analysis of metal and nutrient concentrations in Green Bayou allows for better conservation and care of this urban watershed ecosystem. Future research will analyze the after effects of Hurricane Harvey.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This research was primarily supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the Texas Southern University (TSU) under the award numbers HRD-1400962and HRD-1622993 and NSF Houston Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation.
Faculty Advisor: Maruthi Sridhar Balaji Bhaskar, email@example.com
Role: I collected the water and soil samples with my team. I also prepared and ran the samples on the various instruments. I did have some assistance from my colleagues due to time constraints and such a large amount of samples. I also organized the data for my results and compiled a research report, powerpoint presentation, and poster.