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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

DEVELOPING METHODS FOR QUANTIFYING IRIS TUBE DATA

Abstract

The demand for wetland delineation is growing with more stringent guidelines and protection being placed on wetlands and their surrounding areas. A major component to wetland delineation is assessing soil properties, particularly whether they are hydric or not. While there are currently methods in place to determine and classify hydric soils, these can be time consuming and complicated. The goal of this project was to devise a relatively faster and easier method of quantifying the rate of iron reduction in a more standardized and less subjective means. With the use IRIS tubes, a quicker and relatively easier method can be devised. IRIS were constructed from PVC pipes coated with a ferrihydrite/goethite paint. The tubes were placed directly in the wetland soils for four, and then retrieved and analyzed. Both qualitative and quantitative measurements of iron reduction were performed. Qualitative assessment relied on visual interpretation of color while quantitative evaluation of Fe-reduction utilized X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF). Previously, the only means of analyzing the IRIS tubes has been simply comparing different tubes visually, and using a rough scale to determine how much reduction had taken place. While these qualitative data are useful, they can be very subjective. In this study, we were able to quantify the change in iron concentration on the pipes in a non-subjective manner. It was determined that combining XRF data and visual interpretation could yield excellent, objective quantification of the total iron removal in the wetlands and, therefore, a good technique for identifying hydric conditions in soils.

Acknowledgements

Biological and Environmental Sciences Department, Georgia College

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